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Fathers have a major impact on their children’s well-being. Their impact is so deep, that if they play their cards right and show up in one particular way, their kids will be more successful and lead happier lives.

This is likely no surprise that having a father who actively participates in your life will help you to lead a better life. However, despite this, up until a few decades ago, most research stayed focused on the relationship between mother and child. Now, over the past few decades, a lot of research has been done and what it has discovered is fascinating.

Now, we are beginning to understand the true power of the ‘father effect,’ and just how much having a present father can impact your life. One particular study from 1991 found that babies who had present fathers rated higher cognitive scores. This effect was found to develop around the age of 1 and continued well into 36 months. Further studies carried out in the 2000s discovered that when toddlers have loving and supportive parents, they also ranked higher on tests of cognition.

Of course, the effect doesn’t end in adolescence. It was found to continue well into the young adult years when researchers found that teens who have present dads are less likely to use drugs, less likely to have a teen pregnancy, and much more likely to succeed academically. Furthermore, daughters who had present fathers were less likely to engage in risky sexual encounters,

While mothers play a primary role in the development of their children and share a bond with them unlike anyone else, fathers are important as well. Having a present father can make all the difference in the world for their kids.