Children who have positive relationships with their dads interact better with peers, have better developed social skills and cope with distress, research shows.
KidsMatter, a mental health and wellbeing initiative in early childhood education and care, is running a National Week to acknowledge the role of dads.
Research says the positive relationships with dads improve wellbeing and life satisfaction for children.
But factors such as time and distance affect father-child relationships.
“Quality time spent with dads and other family members is really important for a child’s development,” Dr O’Grady said.
She said when fathers are not able to see their children on a regular basis, they should still keep in contact.
“Using technology such as mobile phones and Skype to make contact and let children know that they are thinking about them is very important,” she said.
Dr O’Grady said spending time with male family members and friends such as uncles and grandfathers also benefit children.
“Sometimes they can’t see a dad. It could be a dad or grandfather who can really play a male supportive role,” she said.
“We know parenting is a challenging thing and we try to help people to find a way which works for them,” she said.
This article first appeared on ‘Ninemsn’ on 15 May 2014.