[So true, but when does anyone get given this bit of essential knowledge?]
by STEVE DOUGHTY, Daily Mail http://www.dailymail.co.uk
Father are just as important as mothers in a child's upbringing, research shows.
The presence of a father means children are more likely to succeed at school and less likely to commit crime.
Those from two-parent families also tend to have better social skills, a report says.
What Good Are Dads? - a study produced for four charities, including two with Government backing --found that fathers are increasingly taking over the mother ' s traditional role.
In 36 per cent of families with two earners, fathers are the children's main carers. They are also the main carers in most cases where the mother is the sole earner.
The report says the involvement of fathers with children of primary school age improves the chances of exam success at 16.
Young children who have regular contact with their father are less likely to have a criminal record by age 21.
And toddlers who spend time playing with their father are more sociable when they enter nursery school.
What Good Are Dads? - published in advance of Father's Day on Su day - was commissioned by Fathers Direct and the National Family and Parenting Institute, both of which receive substantial Home Office funding.
Its author, Professor Charlie Lewis of Lancaster University, said: 'The old picture of most fathers simply being breadwinners is inaccurate.
'We now know how positive father can be right from the start, providing crucial support to new mothers and contributing to many aspects of child development.'
David Bartlett, of Fathers Direct, said: 'After this research, no one can now take refuge in discredited stereotypes suggesting fathers are insignificant. If we want children to thrive emotionally, educationally, socially and physically, we must make the most of dads.'
The report says fathers are naturally drawn to babies in the same way as mothers are.
Heart rate and blood pressure reactions to babies are the same in men and women.
The report also suggests the word 'fathering' should be replaced by 'parenting' to promote the idea that men and women have the same role.
It quotes NFPI chief Mary MacLeod as saying: 'We are in a changing family landscape, with different ideas of what it is to father, mother and parent.
'One aspect has been the invention of the word parenting to deal with the problem that fathering has meant begetting a child, whilst mothering still carries strong associations of caring for a child.'
Government programmes aimed at getting divorced and separated fathers to spend more time with their children may, however, be doing as much harm as good, a separate study warns.
Many fathers have two or more families to support and encour-aging them to spend more time with one will damage the others, said the research, which was carried out in America.
Three-quarters of working mothers believe their children suffer because both parents work, according to a survey.
Four in ten would like to quit their job to spend their time looking after their families at home, according to a poll of Top Sante magazine readers.
Fewer than one in ten would work full-time if they had the choice, and only one in 25 with a pre-school child would stay in full-time work given the option to quit.
Top Sante editor Juliette Kellow said: 'The Government wants to encourage as many women as possible into full-time work.
'But this shows this is blatantly not what most women want, especially those with families.'