The following is excerpted from an online article posted by ScienceDaily.
Fathers can give their children an educational advantage at primary school by reading, drawing and playing with them, according to a newly published report.
Research led by the University of Leeds has found that children do better at primary school if their fathers regularly spend time with them on interactive engagement activities like reading, playing, telling stories, drawing and singing.
Analysing primary school test scores for five- and seven-year-olds, the researchers used a representative sample of nearly 5,000 mother-father households in England from the Millenium Cohort Study — which collected data on children born 2000-02 as they grew up.
According to the research, dads who regularly drew, played and read with their three-year-olds helped their children do better at school by age five. Dads being involved at age five also helped improve scores in seven-year-olds’ Key Stage Assessments.
Dads’ involvement impacted positively on their children’s school achievement regardless of the child’s gender, ethnicity, age in the school year and household income, according to the report.
There were different effects when mums and dads took part in the same activities — the data showed that mums had more of an impact on young children’s emotional and social behaviours than educational achievement.
The researchers recommend that dads carve out as much time as they can to engage in interactive activities with their children each week. For busy, working dads, even just ten minutes a day could potentially have educational benefits.