Sometimes dads feel a bit left out when it comes to bringing up children. Their presence, however, is very important because children benefit from time with both of their parents. Watch the video to learn about why dads matter and develop your listening skills and vocabulary as you complete the activities.


Task 1 - true or false?

Task 2 - comprehension

Task 3 - vocabulary

Task 4 - summary


I think dads really matter. Dads have a unique contribution to bring to the lives of their children. Mums really matter, dads really matter, and a child really needs both parents to be involved in their lives.

Children tend to confide in their mother a little bit more than their father because that's natural, but you do tend to feel a little bit left out at times.

I think sometimes dads can feel slightly on the outside, especially if they're not there as sort of primary care giver.

TOP TIPS Your child needs your attention.

One of the key things is, wherever possible, turn your mobile off. Make sure there's time during the day where you're just one on one. We all know when someone's distracted when they're talking to us - they're looking the other way, or they're kind of fiddling with something - and I think kids pick up on that.

I always make sure that I take him to bed, do the father thing, like a story etc.

It's very important, not just to, you know, be around to help create the child, I mean to be around to watch her grow, to be with her, spend some time with her.

TOP TIPS Look for ways to spend time together…maybe play a game, go for a walk or do an activity.

Find once a week, once every couple of weeks, find some special time one on one with your kids. If you've got more than one child, just that one on one time helps build a relationship.

TOP TIPS It’s never too late to improve your relationship with your child.

If you've been in that situation where you think I've not really given as much time to my kids, or maybe you've not seen them physically, you've not been with them, it's just about recognising that like any other relationship it will take time to rebuild things. If it's your fault that you've not been involved then apologise. Take some time out and start the conversation by just saying, "Hey, I realise I screwed up, I wasn't there for you, I want to be there for you in the future."

TOP TIPS Realise you can be a positive role model for your child.

I always kind of wanted to be like my dad because it was fairly successful, it was like a family man so he always had time for me, like playing with me and stuff like that.

You need a role model in everything you do. Children, they need their father there. What the father does, the children look at it and then they tend to copy most of those things.

It's very easy to say no, or it's very easy to tell children off for doing things, but actually catching them doing something right and saying, "Hey, well done, that was really good," is hugely powerful.

He's always advised me the right thing to do and probably explained from both angles, you know, but always left the choice up to me self, so …

TOP TIPS Recognise how important you are throughout your child’s life.

And dads sort of get to teenage years, I think dads sort of feel like, well, I'm not needed anymore. And yet the irony is it's when teenagers really need their dads and their mums the most.

I think he always knows he can talk to me. You know, if I sense there's anything wrong, I try and get him to come and have a sit down with me, try and get him to say what's bothering him and it’s got to be like that hasn’t’ it, really.

He's the one that's drove to Manchester at whatever time because she's not been well, or something happens, and stuff like that, so dads have ... in our family dad plays a massive role.

TOP TIPS Stay involved in your child’s school life…support homework and attend parents’ evenings.

My daughter knows that we're interested as parents, mum and dad, what she's doing at school, which for her gives her a psychological boost to know that, you know, her mum and dad care about every aspect of her life.

Whilst they'll tell you that they don't want you involved in their life, what they're really looking for is some help to work out who am I, what am I about, what's life about, what do I believe, what are my values, and so it's a really important time for dads to be involved.

Why do dads matter when setting boundaries?

Children need to know where the line is, they need to know what's okay behaviour and what's not okay behaviour. The danger is as men we go two ways: the one way is we totally abdicate and we don't get involved at all, or the other side is we become overly harsh and it's very easy perhaps for us to raise our voices and be a little bit more authoritarian and: "You shall do as I say." And obviously, really where we want to be is somewhere down the middle.

TOP TIPS Remember your partner needs you too.

Whether you're happily married with two point four children, or whether it's been an acrimonious separation and you're living in different households, it's important that you try and maintain a level of relationship.

TOP TIPS Remember your child needs their dad

You're equally important. You've got a very different role, but you're equally as important. And I think you need to try and understand what that role is and understand how it's different, and not try and be mum, but try and be dad.

It’s never too late to improve on your relationship with your child. Recognise the positive influence you can have on your child’s life.

Remember you are a role model.

Family Lives is a charity which aims to support families living in the UK. You can read the full article on their website



  • Does your child get the same amount of attention from their mum and their dad?

Family Lives is a charity which aims to support families living in the UK. You can visit their website here