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Research indicates that when fathers are engaged in their children’s lives, their children evidence greater self-esteem, higher educational achievement, a more secure gender identity, and greater success in life. Less well-known is the more recent research documenting the wide range of physical, emotional, social, and work-related benefits for dads who are actively involved in their children's lives.


Our own DADvocates and DADvisory Team have broad experience conducting research and delivering research-based programs related to fatherhood, education, early child development, and gender-related issues. As part of our mission to promote positive and active father engagement with their children, the DADvocacy Consulting Group (DCG) both curates academic and industry research to share here and other social media channels as well as provides its own fatherhood research services to clients and partners. Check back with us often for fatherhood/parenting research reports and news.


DCG's work is based on this growing body of social science research, including founder Allan Shedlin's more than 20 years of in-depth interviews with hundreds of dads and granddads (ages 16 to 104) and focus groups with children (ages 5-21) from more than 20 countries about their experiences, challenges, joys, wants, and needs in their parent-child relationships:

top qualities kids desire in their dads*

There is an overwhelming consensus about the qualities that kids want most in their dads. Those qualities are the very ones most dads want to cultivate, AND they are the same qualities that child development experts agree kids (and adults) need in order to lead fulfilled and fulfilling lives:

  1. Be there – really BE there!

  2. Take us as seriously as we take ourselves

  3. Be a passionate advocate for us

  4. Show us you love us and be affectionate

  5. Provide us with security and protection

  6. Trust us and have faith in us

  7. Set clear and firm limits

  8. Accept us as the individuals we are

  9. Respect our right to our own opinions

  10. Show us that you have a sense of humor

  11. Convey a sense of hope

  12. Be consistent with us

  13. Remember what it was like to be a kid

  14. Admit your mistakes and don't try to be perfect

  15. Let us make our own mistakes

  16. Be flexible

  17. Don't argue with mom in front of us.

* Based on DCG Founding DADvocate Allan Shedlin's 20+ years of interviews with dads, granddads, and children from more than 20 countries.

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