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Present fathers provide important emotional support to children

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A child's psychological and behavioural development benefits hugely from active, present fatherhood.

That’s a view expressed during a webinar hosted by the National Research Foundation and social change organisation, Heartlines, on Wednesday.

The event discussed the importance of fatherhood, in particular during the first 1000 days of a child's life.

The series of four webinars addresses issues relating to men, masculinity and fatherhood.

Yesterday's theme was premised on "present fatherhood" and its benefits.

Senior research specialist at the Human Sciences Research Council, Dr Tawanda Makusha, stressed the importance of fathers providing practical and emotional support to children.

"When talking about fatherhood in the first 1000 days, we need to speak about issues around mental health. We also need to start speaking about other stresses such as unemployment, poverty that affect men from getting involved in their children's lives."

Another panellist, public health researcher, Mercy Manyema, addressed issues around fathers providing a “safety nest” that shielded children against adverse experiences.

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