What Are a Father’s Roles and Responsibilities in Parenting?

Medically Reviewed on 10/14/2021

Changing roles and responsibilities of fathers

The role of fathers in modern households has significantly changed. Fathers are becoming more involved in raising their children. Fatherhood roles are no longer limited to financial and disciplinary matters. Parenting for fathers is also about helping children develop emotionally, psychologically, and physically.

Many fathers today are more than capable of caring for their children. This includes children with physical and psychological issues. The roles in parenthood  are changing due to the different trends in today's economy and roles in caregiving. More men are getting involved in caregiving and more women are getting involved in contributing to the economy.

Parenthood overall is experiencing a substantial dynamic change. The different types of fathers contributing to the dynamic shift in fatherhood include:

  • Fathers who stay home with their children
  • Fathers who are divorced
  • Stepfathers
  • Fathers who do not live in the home

Importance of a father

Father involvement is essential in parenting. Fathers are important because they do the following:

Impact the child's success. Chances of educational success increase when fathers are involved in parenting. Children are less likely to get involved in situations like teenage birth, being expelled, or serving a jail sentence.  

Contribute to healthy emotional development. Fathers who tend to solve conflict respectfully and nonviolently with their spouse contribute to their children's solid emotional development. Children learn what to expect and how to treat their partners in relationships. 

Improve a child’s general wellbeing. Present fathers help their children learn how to make better life choices. Fathers highly contribute to their children's cognitive development. Children with developed cognitive function feel more loved which improves behavior.

Provide financial support. Involved fathers might contribute to the larger household bills. Non-involved fathers are also encouraged to provide child support.

Fathers provide another point of view for their children. Fathers can provide a different perspective. Fathers may handle situations differently from mothers. Mothers tend to be protective of their children while fathers may encourage curiosity and experience.

Fathers’ responsibilities in parenting

Fatherhood comes with responsibilities such as:

Supporting the family. Their presence from the initial stages of conception eases pressure on the mother. Other than financial provision, fathers may physically take care of the mother and child after birth. Supporting the mother helps the child to continue developing. 

Cognitive development. When fathers play with their toddlers, they help them develop a secondary emotional bond with other people. The mother's connection is the primary bond.

Authority figure. Fathers have the responsibility of being authority figures, which helps ensure his child learns how to solve problems.

Remain trustworthy. During teenage years, fathers have the responsibility of establishing and maintaining a reliable figure. Fathers might gain their teen’s trust by being patient with them during these years.

Tips on how to be a supportive father

Your biological relationship with the child does not limit fatherhood. Fatherhood is about the quality of relationship you have with your children.

To be a good father, you might try these tips:

Take time. Schedule time to spend with your child. Physical presence is equally important to a child. 

Listen. To grow close to your child, you might find it better to listen to them more than you lecture their behavior.

Be a positive role model. Remember, children learn through imitation. Your child observes and knows more than you might assume. Always practice positive behaviors.

Respect the child's mother.  How children handle their current and future relationships will be influenced by how you treat their mother. Treating her with respect impacts their relationships.

Show affection. To make your child feel secure and safe, practice showing them love whenever you're together. 

Be present. Fatherhood never ends. Children notice when you are absent. Try to show up in their important life events, spend quality time together, and play together.


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Medically Reviewed on 10/14/2021

American Psychological Association: "The Changing Role of the Modern Day Father."

American Academy of Pediatrics: "Fathers' Roles in the Care and Development of Their Children: The Role of Pediatricians."

The University of Texas at Austin: "5 Things You Should Know About the Importance of Fathers."

The Novak Djokovic Foundation: "The importance of fathers in the healthy development of children."

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: "Providing Financial Support for Children: Views and Experiences of Low-Income Fathers in the PACT Evaluation."

Winchester Hospital: "The Importance of Fathers."

Acta Technologica Dubnicae: "Father's and Mother's Roles and Their Particularities in Raising Children."