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Dads Who Do This Simple Activity With Their Kids for 10 Minutes a Day Are More Likely to Raise High Achievers The straightforward approach can give children an advantage over their peers.

By Amanda Breen Edited by Jessica Thomas

Key Takeaways

  • Fathers who take part in "structured, educational activities" with their children set them up for success.
  • Kids with highly involved fathers are also more likely to have more confidence and self-control.

The benefits of reading to young children have long been known — but new research from the UK reveals that kids whose dads read, sing and draw with them may have an even greater edge over their peers.

According to the report published by the University of Leeds, which analyzed data from a survey of nearly 5,000 UK households that include a mother and father, "Fathers' childcare involvement has a unique and important effect on the educational outcomes of children that is over and above the effect of the mothers' involvement," CNBC reported.

Related: Coaching and Parenting Have Similar Goals But It's a Big Mistake to Do Them the Same Way

Dads who take part in "structured, educational activities" with their children set them up for success in their first year of primary school and beyond for a couple of reasons, the research found. First, kids with two involved parents will be stimulated in different ways, as mom and dad exhibit varying behaviors, use different language and more.

But fathers also "bring something different," per the report: "Fathers' involvement operates differently from mothers' involvement because it helps to increase children's educational attainment, whereas mothers' involvement enhances children's cognitive behaviour."

The report found that dads who spend just 10 minutes on an engaging activity with their children regularly can make a difference.

Related: 4 Ways Parenting and Leadership Work Together | Entrepreneur

High levels of father involvement have also been linked to higher levels of sociability, confidence and self-control in children, and they're also less likely to act out in school or participate in risky behaviors, according to the Children's Bureau of Southern California.

Amanda Breen

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior Features Writer

Amanda Breen is a senior features writer at She is a graduate of Barnard College and received an MFA in writing at Columbia University, where she was a news fellow for the School of the Arts.

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