The Age

Fathers key to success

October 05 2002
By Caroline Milburn
The Age

Fathers have a bigger impact than mothers on whether a child is cooperative and self-reliant in the first year of school, a study has found.

The study on how well a child makes the leap from toddlerhood to school shows that men matter.

Children whose fathers regularly looked after them during their infancy and preschool years were more self-disciplined and had better social skills than others whose fathers spent less time alone with them.

The findings from the study of 212 children in their first year of school will be released today at a conference on early childhood issues in Melbourne.

The children came from a wide range of backgrounds and included single-parent families and two-parent families. The time that fathers spent in charge of their infants and toddlers varied from two hours a week in some families to more than 30 hours in others.

Copyright 2002 The Age Company Ltd.