Children need their fathers

Vickie Jones, N.C. Cooperative Extension
Jun. 23, 2014 @ 10:09 AM

During the month of June we celebrate Father’s Day. Father’s Day for many children is not a happy time. They can only imagine or fantasize what it would be like to have a father in their life. They dream of the places they would go and the wonderful ways a father would protect and care for the family. Some children lack the imagination to fantasize what life would be like with a father because they have grown up in a single-family home with a mother whose mother raised her in a single family home. Children need their dad to step up to the plate and father them today. If this role will be new to you, perhaps you can use the following tips to help you connect with your child or children.

Join a parenting class. By participating in a parenting class you can learn many positive parenting techniques. Parenting classes offer role play opportunities that can help you learn how to play with your child, praise them, discipline them in a positive way and handle misbehavior. Parenting classes also offer ways to teach your child social skills and ways to help prepare your child for school. Parenting classes are not just for mothers, they are helpful for dads too. When both mother and father attend classes together, arguments about proper discipline and consequences are reduced as both parents gain the same information and are on one accord with what is best for their child.

Consider joining a fatherhood program. Many dads aren’t comfortable with moms in a group setting but realize they need a little help to step into the role of father. Connecting with a fatherhood program might be just the thing to help you get started. Joining with other dads who have the same issues, or dads that have stepped into their role as father, might provide the support you need to be comfortable becoming a father.

Another way to connect with your child is to become involved with your child’s school life. Check in from time to time with teachers to find out how your child is doing and ways you might help him do better. Ask for time off to attend an occasional field trip or lunch with your child. Also consider attending programs such as PTA meetings, field days and sporting events.

Whether you live with your child or are living separately from your child, all of the above tips are appropriate for you. For those living separately, arrange legal visitation with your child. Fathers and children that live separately can still have meaningful relationships when dads step up to the plate and father their children.

For more information on how to father your child, call Vance County Cooperative Extension at (252) 438-8188. Ask for Vickie Jones, Parent Educator (funded by F-G-V Smart Start) for information on joining a parenting class, or call Jamon Glover, fatherhood coordinator for FVW Opportunities, about joining a fatherhood program. It’s time to step up and father your children. Kudos to the fathers that do!