Want your children to be good at math? Get them play with their dads!

Jun 16, 2022 | Red Deer

We have always known that father and child connection is important, but the impact goes way further than we thought!


Father’s Day is coming! In our days running a math learning centre, we have seen dads who are so devoted and committed to their child’s education.

According to a study from the University of Sussex, having a harmonious relationship with parents and having greater parental involvement in school activities lead to better math grades. But let’s talk about dads specifically – how big is the impact of close relationships with dads on children’s math skills?

Children in close relationships with their fathers are twice as likely to enter college, 75% less likely to have a child in their teen years, 80% less likely to be incarcerated, and half as likely to show various signs of depression (Frank Furstenberg & Kathleen Harris).

And do you want your children to be good at math? Perhaps instead of giving them tons of homework, get them play with their dads! According to this study from Learning & Individual Differences, a secure bond between father and child is particularly important for children’s development of coping skills related to math. On the other hand, a poorer father-child relationship predicts increased math anxiety in children one year later.


  1. Fathers, rather than mothers, have higher frequencies of engagement in number game activities with their children, and fathers use of real-life applications to teach number knowledge.
  2. Fathers often have higher self-concepts of mathematics ability and more interest in math (note: math anxiety seems to be higher in women than men; this is because women often are the “victims” of negative gender stereotype that they are not good at math even though they are actually equally capable of succeeding in math – read our blog: Girls cannot do math? Think again!)
  3. Males tend to excite and encourage their children to take risks within a secure environment, which will have positive impact to children’s confidence and alleviate math anxiety.

So, children are more likely to pick up on the importance of math from their fathers, by watching their fathers use and enjoy math.

According to the recent research featured in this article by Claire Lerner, children who have secure attachments with dads do better academically; early connection between father and child is critical in nurturing and shaping children’s growth and has positive benefits that last into adulthood:

  1. Fathers who care for, nurture and play with their babies raise children with higher IQs and with better language and cognitive skills. This is because fathers tend to ask children more questions and use more words during play than mothers, which builds children’s vocabulary and conversational/communication skills. Language skills are correlated with academic success.
  2. The more time fathers spend in enriching, stimulating play with their child, the better the child’s math and reading scores are at 10 and 11 years old.
  3. And moms, listen to this: fathers who are actively involved in their babies’ lives tend to experience less conflict with their wives. This strengthens the marital relationship which has long-term benefits for children!

So dads (and moms too), after you know all these facts, grab your kids and play, and spend more quality time with them 😊

Have a wonderful Father’s Day to all dads! Your love and dedication deserve a spotlight!

Aaaand .. thank you so much to this super dedicated Mathnasium dad for agreeing to be in the picture with his mathlete son 😊 Your continuous support means a lot to us!




Mathnasium of Red Deer is your neighbourhood’s math-only learning centre, and we are here to help your child. Our centre director, Riwan, and the whole team, would be happy to meet you! We are conveniently located in the shopping destination area in Red Deer: 5250 22nd St, Unit 30 B – at the Gaetz Avenue Crossing shopping centre, in the same area as Chapters Indigo/Starbucks, Michael Arts, Petland and Ashley, and the phone number is 403-872 MATH (6284). 

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