- - Saturday, June 15, 2013

BOUNTIFUL — Every afternoon, 14-month-old Calder Ubri stands by the glass panel in the front door and watches for his dad to come home.

And each afternoon, Jonathan Ubri gets off the bus and walks home. When he gets close enough to see his toddler bouncing up and down at the sight of him, little arms pinwheeling, the dad starts running, his own arms outstretched.

“Calder, Calder, Calder,” he yells, smiling wide. As he clears the door, he scoops up his baby boy and they roll on the ground, hugging and wrestling and bestowing sloppy kisses on each other.

Father-son time is a joyous thing for Jonathan Ubri, 26, unlike anything he had growing up. His own father showed up rarely and somewhat randomly when Ubri was a child growing up near Boston. Ubri is determined to not be that kind of dad. He plans to be there for his son.

Research says that will be a great gift for Calder’s future.

A gift from dad

Positive father involvement affects every stage of a child’s development, impacting young lives at each age, according to numerous studies. Dad helps an infant’s secure attachment, a toddler’s ability to regulate negative emotions and a middle school-aged child’s self-esteem. A good relationship with Dad also boosts school achievement for adolescents, according to Erin Kramer Holmes, assistant professor in the Brigham Young University School of Family Life.

“Almost four decades of good social science research establish that fathers matter to children’s healthy development,” she said. “The quality of men’s parenting has also been associated with fewer behavior problems, lower depression rates and better social skills with peers.”

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