10 Things a Child Needs from Their Father

By: John Walsh of A Father’s Instruction


Children need fathers. Dad is just as important as the mother when it comes to the development and raising of a child.


Parents bring their own unique personalities, beliefs, and experiences to affect how they raise their child. Bring two people together and things are going to vary even more. Each person is different but brings value from their own perspective.


Men differ than women, so dads approach parenthood differently than mothers. There are differences in communication style, discipline, interaction, and play. One parent is not better or more influential, rather they are complements to each other as individuals and parents.


Together the goal is to provide the best life they can for their child.


A child receives these 10 things when they have a father figure present in their life.


Belief System


When a mother and father are united in their beliefs, values and morals, there are in a better position to pass on those beliefs to their child. It will assist you in the decisions you make as parents, raising a child. They will also help your children in their interactions with other people and in knowing where boundaries lie.


A firm belief system is the foundation for a child and the father needs to be an active part of laying that groundwork.


Male Role Model


A dad needs to show his children how a man acts. A father demonstrates leadership at home while treating his wife and children with loyalty and respect. The son should see his dad as the man he wants to become. In her dad, a daughter must see the values she admires, applying them to her own life and traits she will look for in other men.




A child needs their father to be there for them, physically and mentally. For dads who work outside the house or who are always away, this is a challenge. Schedule time and find creative ways to connect with your child. Make the time you spend together special.




All children, everyone for that matter, need encouragement. Children should not just get this from their mom either, dads should offer praise, too. There is a balance between not praising enough and over-praising. Praise should be specific and emphasize the effort.




Dads need to help with defining and enforcing rules. Don’t yell or issue commands. Rules should be fair and consistent. Set expectations and when a child misbehaves make sure they know why their action was inappropriate. Then, immediately give a natural or logical consequence.




Provide for your family. Kids must have shelter, clothing, and food, but dads should provide more. Fathers, provide priceless gifts such as love, build their confidence, support their imagination, encourage determination and resilience. Provide them guidance and hope.


Risk Taker


One of the ways mothers and fathers vary in parenting is with risk taking. Mothers tend to be more concerned with the safety and comforting of a child while dads are more likely to encourage a child to take risks. According to one scholarly review, fathers help children be brave during unfamiliar situations and to stand up for themselves.


To Listen


Listen to your child. An active listener hears, acknowledges, and validates why a child is feeling the way they do.  This is helpful when a child is upset but is also important to be an active listener anytime someone talks. It shows you are listening and even understand them.

Hugs & Kisses


Anytime. All the time. Words of encouragement and praise are great but so is a deep squeeze and meaningful kiss. We can never have too many!

To Wrestle


It is good for dads to roughhouse with kids. Rough-and-tumble play is beneficial to the development of a child according to some research. This type of play builds confidence, achievement, and concentration. It also develops competitiveness and the realization that you don’t win at everything. Most important it helps build trust between father and child.


Let’s not take for granted the role of dad or father figure in a child’s life. Some of these things a child needs only a dad can provide, but most a child needs from both the mother and father. Providing the path to a happy life.

Extra Credit


One other optional, and highly embarrassing need a dad provides- the dad joke.