Baby boys getting dad's love grow up happier
Men should try to build an affectionate bond with their sons in the first three months of their infancy, failing which could lead to lifelong problems, researchers have suggested
According to an Oxford University study, loving contact with baby boys in their earliest days is essential if they are to thrive. It can help in turning them calmer and happier children at the age of one, Daily Mail reported.
Paul Ramchandani, who led the study, says behavioural problems in early childhood often lead to health and psychological problems in adulthood which could be difficult to overcome.
He says most research on how parents affect a baby's behaviour and development has focused on mothers, when fathers also play an important role.
The research team recruited 192 families from maternity units and experts filmed the mothers and fathers separately as they played with their children at home in different situations observing how caring or engaged they were.
"We found that children whose fathers were more engaged in the interactions had better outcomes, with fewer subsequent behavioural problems," said Ramchandani.
"At the other end of the scale, children tended to have greater behavioural problems when their fathers were more remote and lost in their own thoughts, or when their fathers interacted less with them."
"This association tended to be stronger for boys than for girls, suggesting that perhaps boys are more susceptible to the influence of their father from a very early age," he added.