Fathers Day was earlier this month and we want to take some time to appreciate all the dads out there. This year more than $23 billion was spent on Mother’s Day, compared to only $15 billion on Father’s Day. Dad, we want you to know that you’re important, too. Little ones need their fathers just as much as they need their mothers, and here’s why:

Dads are the yin to mom’s yang. There is a reason that there are two parents. Moms and dads naturally balance one another out. We’re not just talking about traditional gender roles since both parents can essentially “do” all of the same things. We tend to be attracted to a mate who provides balance to our own lives, and this extends to our children as well. One parent may be more organized and the other may be more free-spirited. Parenting takes teamwork. By maximizing one another’s strengths, you can both parent more effectively.

Fathers help teach emotional intelligence. Little ones learn from the relationship they have with each parent. Interestingly, studies show that children learn more about emotions from their father than their mother. When fathers invest time and effort in fostering emotional bonds with their children, it increases a child’s ability to understand emotions later in life. Boys will tend to model their behavior after their father’s while girls will seek qualities of their father in a life partner.

Let’s face it, dads are FUN! Chances are, your kids’ eyes light up the minute dad walks in the door at the end of the day. Dads have a special way of making up silly games that end in fits of giggles for all. They makeup wrestling moves, start pillow fights and always have a knack for adventures. Dads tend to encourage risk-taking behavior, and believe it or not, that’s a valued quality. So while you may cringe, mom, just know that pushing to limits can help to build character later in life.

So, how can you help foster your husband’s relationship with your children? Make sure he gets involved even during those early days as a parent. As moms, we can try to do it all ourselves instead of letting others help us. Encourage dad to hold baby often, change diapers and soothe. Even if your husband doesn’t do something exactly how you want or how you would do it, let him help! Your baby needs to know that dad is there, too.

Be sure to celebrate dad any chance you get. We all need encouragement sometimes, and dad is no different! Be sure to praise him as a father AND as a husband. These two roles go hand-in-hand and both are equally important. Your children will learn from your husband/wife relationship, too. If your children see you working as a team and encouraging one another, that will be a fantastic example for their future relationships.

We also want to celebrate all of the father figures out there. After all, today 40% of children live in a household without their father. So, to anyone stepping up to be a father figure, we’re celebrating you too. Children who have a father figure – ANY father figure – in their life are 43% more likely to do well in school.

So whether you’re a father, stepfather, grandpa, uncle or even friend, you’re important to a child’s life. You’re making a positive impact and helping a child to be more successful in life.