Say Think Know Publishing is live today with a new website! Let’s talk about fatherhood.

Our first blog topic is about fathers and the importance of fatherhood to children. Regardless of gender and role (fathers or mothers), children absolutely love them. In the eyes of a child, the parent is the world; their entire universe. Somehow, somewhere along the way of time, we discounted the importance of the role of a father. This has led to fathers who feel disconnected from their families and communities.

According to the US Department of Census, 43% of US children live without their father. There are several reasons why this is such a staggering number. The real shame is not only in the percentage of broken homes that our children live in but the message sent to the parent who is not living with the children. When I worked in the world of early childhood and families, we were encouraged to engage fathers about everything their child was going through. Fathers wanted to know what their child was needing and experiencing. It was the perception of others that the ‘father’ just wouldn’t understand. For example, it wasn’t the fact that the father was not interested in the doctor appointment that he did not show. He was not showing because when he did, rarely would anyone talk with him. Instead the medical personnel talked to the mother. Fathers would state that they felt useless in these types of situations.

The effects on fatherless children are too important to ignore. By the time children without fathers become teenagers, they are more likely to be involved in drugs, crime and dropout of school. Children without fathers feel a void. They often look to other males to be their role models. However, going back to the true concept of love for a parent, other males are not the real deal. I agree that mentors are a must for all children. (In fact, mentors should be a part of our lives through adulthood.) Mentors are not a substitute.

So what can be done to build the lives of children with the involvement of fathers?

  • Educate young males and females on the importance of fatherhood and what it takes to be involved even if they do not live in the same house. It is not just about the money.
  • Explain to both parents how a young brain develops and the impacts the two together make on that brain. I have yet to meet a parent that did not want their child to be smart and succeed. (I know that can be debated but I believe it to be true.)
  • Encourage the fathers to read to their children from birth. This bonding activity will become habitual and last a lifetime.
  • Include fathers and encourage fathers to participate in doctor appointments, school activities, etc.
  • Some fathers will be ridiculed for appearing soft, whipped, and not the MAN for behaving in a ‘maternal’ type fashion. Although, this stereotype is slowly changing in my perception, the more people view fathers as equally capable, the less this will happen. Give fathers the supports to respond to these types of beliefs.
  • Encourage fathers to have a ‘routine’ activity with their children. For instance, take them to the park every visit, go to a specific restaurant, eat ice cream that is a certain flavor from a certain location.
  • This blog on fatherhood and the importance of their role with their children is my perception based on experiences and facts while working with families. I do want to say that violence, abuse, mental illness, and other situations that hurt others and are not being monitored or addressed are not healthy for children. There are exceptions and times when children are better off without their fathers. However, these issues cross no boundaries and look at no color or gender. Children should not be subject to others who hurt them for any reason.

    For more information, check out the National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) website at www.fatherhood.org

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    8 Responses to Say Think Know Publishing is live today with a new website! Let’s talk about fatherhood.

    1. kendra says:

      An excellent way to kick off the blog, Kelli. Well done!

    2. liz says:

      terrific post–and so important.
      as a child that grew up without a father in the house, I think it’s worth noting that a father doesn’t have to be a biological father–I had many father figures throughout my life: my friend’s dads and other male role models.
      also, these days parents are so busy it’s not always possible for the fathers (or mothers) to be as involved as they like. babysitters take kids to school and nannies take the kids to the doctors. but there so many other ways for parents to be involved and active partipants in their child’s life. for example: reading to your child every day.
      great blog, can’t wait to read more here!

      • admin says:

        Thank you for the wonderful feedback. I look forward to more comments.
        Have a wonderful Holiday!
        Kelli

    3. Mama V says:

      I see most things that have to do with family dynamics as cyclical. I think about the kind of role models that me and my partner had as children, and am amazed that my partner can choose to be so much more involved than our fathers were when we were young. My husband says that every choice he makes as a father is intentionally different from what his father did, because he wants to be more for his children. (Not to dog on our fathers, who we both believe to have been fantastic at raising us; but there are definite prescribed expectations about their involvement that had a lot to do with being products of their macho environments.) The comments we both receive from our parents about my partner’s involvement with our children are a mix of respect, wonder, and judgment. Judgment on me as the female of the household for perhaps not being able to “handle” more, judgment on the father for wimping out a bit by stepping out of his expected gender role without a fight… but also a sense of acknowledgment that the new arrangement works, and even more, is… somehow even better! Whoa!

      Let’s start ‘em young! Let’s give our little boys confidence now and role models now. And then let’s write a Say!Think!Know! version for those grown-up males who need a bit of a boost of confidence! ;)

      • admin says:

        Just wanted to follow up. What a wonderful response! I agree and agree and agree.
        Take care,
        Kelli

    4. this post is very usefull thx!

    5. Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

    6. maria andros says:

      Hey there this is a fantastic post. I’m going to e-mail this to my pals. I came on this while exploring on aol I’ll be sure to come back. thanks for sharing.

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