The head of the household and arguably the most influential member of the family is, in most cases the father. The relationship between a child and their mother is vital, but in reality, studies have shown that fathers play a unique and crucial role in nurturing and guiding children's development.
First, the role of father's with babies. When fathers spend more time with their babies, they get to know exactly what each of their baby's signals mean. This familiarity allows fathers to respond sensitively, meaning that they know when their baby is hungry rather than when he just wants a change of scenery. Also, fathers tend to provide more verbal and physical stimulation, by patting their babies gently and communicating to them with sharp bursts of sound. As babies grow older, many come to prefer playing with their fathers who provide unpredictable, stimulating, and exciting interaction. In later years, young children look to their parents to learn how to interact with people. This not only means it is crucial for a father to interact appropriately with his child, when interacting with his wife, the mother, he acts as he would like his child to. A child looks to its mother for emotional support, but in many cases a father is more looked to for guidance in life skills and future planning from their father's.
All of these things are thrown off when a father is not relevant in the growing process of a child. Studies have shown that things such as educational achievement, self-esteem, responsible social behavior, and adjustment as adults have all been negatively affected by the lack of a father or father figure in the nurturing and development process of a child. There is no question that the relationship between a mother and a child is crucial to the quality of life of a given child, but, as recent studies have shown, the relationship between a father and a child is equally as important to the development of a given child.