Fatherhood and Co-Parenting

 Home / Fatherhood and Co-Parenting Blog

Fatherhood and Co-Parenting Help RSS

Fatherhood, Co-Parenting and Child Support information. Get a better of understanding of your rights as a parent before you go to court. We will also give you information on how to be a better father and co-parent with the mother. Our goal is to increase father's involvement in the family structure.

10 Tips for New Fathers

Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Tuesday, January 28, 2020

10 Tips for New Fathers

If you are a new dad, guess what research shows is one of the best things you can do to bond with your new baby and make your marriage stronger?



1. Time and tolerance.

The most important thing you can do is simply spend time with your newborn. Serious research about fatherhood is only a scant 30 years old, and what we know is that the more time fathers spend with their infants the better. Researchers in the early years of father-infant bonding couldn’t find fathers spending enough time with their infants to study them. In other words, dads weren’t spending an adequate amount of time with their baby to even start measuring the impact. What we know now is that the time you can just be with your infant is valuable.

Along with time, you will need to have some tolerance for you and your new creation to get to know one another. This is your first time being a father and your son or daughter’s first time being a human being. Be kind and gentle with yourselves. Allow for some learning, experimentation and mutual tolerance. Give yourself time to learn and grow into the role.


2. Eye contact.

We have known for a long time that infants are drawn to the human face, but with computer-enhanced research we were able to realize what they look at: the eyes. Babies have a preference for the human face in general, and eye contact in particular. The one thing to remember about this is that they can only see clearly about a foot in front of them, so remember to smile, stay close, and look ‘em in the eye.


3. Repetitive sounds.

Particularly something called the bilabials; Pa-pa, Ma-ma, Ba-ba are the first and most common sounds infants can make. They are simple because the two lips are pressed together with a puff of air pushed through them. That is why most first utterances around the globe for mother, father and bottle use these sounds. They are easy to make and the infant can get some quick language control and feedback from their environment in this way. (Trust me, the first time your little one says Pa-Pa to you will be a peak experience.) To strengthen the connection, when you hear them making the sound, make it back. Eventually the two of you can start your own bilabial chorus.


4. Infants are fans of motion.

They love it and crave it, and need it. They love to be held, jostled, bounced and jiggled. There is good reason for this. Movement helps infants develop everything from their brains to their sense of balance. When you hold your baby, give them a feeling of security, but not too tight or too loose. Don’t be afraid to hold and sway and bounce and cuddle. Learn what he or she likes and cultivate that motion. You want to be the one with that magic touch when baby needs a motion magician.


5. Change that diaper!

Researchers early on found out that the fathers who helped diapering their baby had stronger, better, and more long-lasting marriages. So if you want to score points with mom and with your baby — learn the art of diapering and treat it as a shared duty with mom. If you don’t want the feces to hit the oscillator in your relationship, learn to deal with it at the source.


6. Make a play date with baby.

Maybe Tuesday is girls night out, or you don’t start work until noon on Thursday, but whatever the schedule can permit, have planned time to be the one and only caregiver for your baby. One-on-one bonding is important. When mom is in the room there is typically a preference by the infant for her to be the one in charge. Take time to figure out what your relationship is with your newborn — just the two of you. This is important. You need to be able to manage this baby thing solo, and there is no other way to get this experience.


7. Teamwork.

The above point having been said, you also need to realize you are part of a team. You and mom are a tag-team. This may be a different set of skills than when you are one-on-one. As an example, when mom was out and I was joyfully bottlefeeding my daughter with breast milk we had pumped for her, everything was wonderful. But the moment mom came home from her classes, my daughter wasn’t in the mood for Mr. second-best. She could hear and, through the magic of pheromones, smell mom and wanted to be with her. This was the transition time. Recognize that the three of you function like a mobile hanging from the ceiling and are in balance with one another. As the infant’s needs change, the balance of mom and dad will need to change along with it.


8. Keep your promises.

As your child grows and as you develop as a family, remember that dads have to be absolutely certain to do one thing: keep their promises. If you promise your spouse you are going to be home at 6:30 p.m., make that the priority in your life that day. As your child grows, these promises to him or her become the backbone of your relationship. Deliver on what you promise and the ease and security of the relationship will evolve. Renege on these consistently and an insecure bonding, something you definitely do not want, can happen. I encourage parents I work with to only make commitments and promises they can keep. I’d rather them keep one promise than make three and only keep two.

Read More

The Involved Father

Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Friday, January 24, 2020

The Involved Father




Fathers are just as essential to healthy child development as mothers. Psychology Today explained, “Fatherhood turns out to be a complex and unique phenomenon with huge consequences for the emotional and intellectual growth of children.”“Shuttle Diplomacy,” Psychology Today, July/August 1993, p. 15. Erik Erikson, a pioneer in the world of child psychology, asserts that a father’s love and a mother’s love are qualitatively different. Fathers “love more dangerously” because their love is more “expectant, more instrumental” than a mother’s love.As cited in Kyle D. Pruett, The Nurturing Father, (New York: Warner Books, 1987), p. 49. A father brings unique contributions to the job of parenting a child that no one else can replicate. Following are some of the most compelling ways that a father’s involvement makes a positive difference in a child’s life. 

Fathers parent differently.

Fathering expert Dr. Kyle Pruett explains that fathers have a distinct style of communication and interaction with children. By eight weeks of age, infants can tell the difference between their mother’s and father’s interaction with them. This diversity, in itself, provides children with a broader, richer experience of contrasting relational interactions. Whether they realize it or not, children are learning, by sheer experience, that men and women are different and have different ways of dealing with life, other adults and children. This understanding is critical for their development.


Fathers play differently.

Fathers tickle more, they wrestle, and they throw their children in the air (while mother says . . . “Not so high!”). Fathers chase their children, sometimes as playful, scary “monsters.” Fathering expert John Snarey explains that children who roughhouse with their fathers learn that biting, kicking and other forms of physical violence are not acceptable.John Snarey, How Fathers Care for the Next Generation: A Four Decade Study (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993), p. 35-36. They learn self-control by being told when “enough is enough” and when to settle down. Girls and boys both learn a healthy balance between timidity and aggression.


Fathers build confidence.

Go to any playground and listen to the parents. Who is encouraging kids to swing or climb just a little higher, ride their bike just a little faster, throw just a little harder? Who is encouraging kids to be careful? Mothers protect and dads encourage kids to push the limits. Either of these parenting styles by themselves can be unhealthy. One can tend toward encouraging risk without consideration of consequences. The other tends to avoid risk, which can fail to build independence and confidence. Together, they help children remain safe while expanding their experiences and increasing their confidence.


Fathers communicate differently.

A major study showed that when speaking to children, mothers and fathers are different. Mothers will simplify their words and speak on the child’s level. Men are not as inclined to modify their language for the child. The mother’s way facilitates immediate communication; the father’s way challenges the child to expand her vocabulary and linguistic skills — an important building block of academic success.


Fathers discipline differently.

Educational psychologist Carol Gilligan tells us that fathers stress justice, fairness and duty (based on rules), while mothers stress sympathy, care and help (based on relationships). Fathers tend to observe and enforce rules systematically and sternly, teaching children the consequences of right and wrong. Mothers tend toward grace and sympathy, providing a sense of hopefulness. Again, either of these disciplinary approaches by themselves is not good, but together, they create a healthy, proper balance.


Fathers prepare children for the real world.

Involved dads help children see that attitudes and behaviors have consequences. For instance, fathers are more likely than mothers to tell their children that if they are not nice to others, kids will not want to play with them. Or, if they don’t do well in school, they will not get into a good college or secure a desirable job. Fathers help children prepare for the reality and harshness of the world.


READ MORE

What You Need to Know - New Rule to Increase Regular Child Support Payments

Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Saturday, January 07, 2017

What You Need to Know

New Rule to Increase Regular Child Support Payments

Posted by Christopher A. Brown

Many of the noncustodial dads served by organizations and programs like yours struggle to pay child support.

The ability of fathers to pay child support has been an issue in sore need of addressing at the federal and state levels for many years. After all, if a father can’t afford to pay the child support he owes, it has bad consequences for him, his child, and the mother or guardian of his child.

What You Need to Know > New Rule to Increase Regular Child Support Payments.jpg

That’s why a new rule issued by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF)—the federal agency responsible for child support enforcement and partnering with state, tribal, and local child support agencies—has the potential to positively transform the collection of child support across the country. Although some important provisions didn't make it into the final rule that advocates, including National Fatherhood Initiative, say would have made the rule even more transformative, everyone with a stake in creating effective child support enforcement should be optimistic about its potential.

Specifically, according to ACF, this new rule will make state child support enforcement programs more effective, flexible, and family-friendly. It requires state child support agencies to increase their case investigative efforts to ensure that child support orders—the amount noncustodial parents are required to pay each month—reflect the parent’s ability to pay.

The goal of this new rule is to set realistic orders so that noncustodial parents pay regularly, rather than setting an unrealistically high order that results in higher rates of nonpayment. Mark Greenberg, HHS Assistant Secretary for Children and Families, had this to say of the new rule:

“We know from research that when child support orders are set unrealistically high, noncustodial parents are less likely to pay. In fact, several studies say compliance declines when parents are ordered to pay above 15 to 20 percent of their income.”

and “By ensuring states set their orders based on actual circumstances in the family, we believe the rule will result in more reliable child support payments, and children will benefit.”


The new rule updates the child support program by amending existing policy. Here are a few highlights of the new rule:

  • ensure child support obligations are based upon accurate information and the noncustodial parents’ ability to pay
  • increase consistent timely payments to families as well as the number of noncustodial parents supporting their children
  • strengthen procedural fairness
  • improve child support collection rates
  • reduce the accumulation of unpaid and uncollectible child support arrearages
  • incorporate evidence-based standards tested by states that support good customer service
  • increase program efficiency and simplify operational requirements, including standardizing and streamlining payment processing so employers are not unduly burdened
  • incorporate technological advances that support cost-effective management practices and streamlined intergovernmental enforcement
  • prohibit states from excluding incarceration from consideration as a substantial change in circumstances, require states to notify parents of their right to request a review and adjustment of their order if they will be incarcerated for more than six months, and ensure that child support orders for those who are incarcerated reflect the individuals’ circumstances while continuing to allow states significant flexibility in setting orders for incarcerated parents
  • require state child support agencies to make payments directly to a resident parent, legal guardian, or individual designated by the court in order to reign in aggressive and often inappropriate practices of third-party child support collection agencies

Read the rest of article

How to Avoid Tax Interception due to Child Support

Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Monday, November 17, 2014

It’s about that time when all non-custodial parents, who are behind on their child support payments, begin to wonder if they will be getting a refund next year. It’s very disturbing to non-custodial parents when they have tried their best to make payments just to find out that their taxes, either State or Federal, will be intercepted by the Division of Child Support Enforcement. Some may say, “don’t file a refund,” and others may say “pay off your arrears in full”, however the choice is yours to make.

There is a 60 day letter which goes out from the Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) notifying the non-custodial parent that their taxes will be intercepted due to arrears owed. For instance, if the custodial parent is receiving Temporary Assistant for Needed Families (TANF) the amount owed must be at least $150. If the custodial parent is not receiving TANF, the amount owed must be at least $500. However, non-custodial parents can do one of the following to avoid their taxes from being intercepted if done in a timely manner: a) contact your local DCSE agency ; b) Set up a payment arrangement prior to receiving a 60 day letter ; c) request an administrative hearing if you disagree with the amount owed; d) pay arrears in full.

It’s so important to prevent tax interception, if all possible make your child support payments monthly. If there is a change in your circumstances file a child support modification immediately.

By: Ajawavi Ajavon, DAB Mediation Consultant, LLC

Anticipation to Delaware Devoted Dad’s Summit

Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Thursday, October 09, 2014

Anticipation to Delaware Devoted Dad’s Summit

By. Ajawavi Ajavon
DAB Mediation Consultant, LLC.

October, the air is crisp, the leaves are changing and falling of the trees and Halloween is right around the corner. Football is consuming our way of life on Monday and Thursday nights and all day Sunday and then there is DDD (Delaware Devoted Dad’s) Summit, a father for life. The anticipation is mounting, everyone is eager, and gearing up for this phenomenal summit. It will uplift, enlighten, empower, and encourage fathers to build responsible fatherhood, build healthy relationships and build successful parenting skills. Fathers are coming from all over the tri-state area to attend the 5th annual Delaware Devoted Dad’s summit. Fathers will receive information and support at this two day summit that will last a lifetime. This summit will bring an awareness to the community about the importance fatherhood.


Fathers, get ready for this two day adventure in the world of Fatherhood this experience will be invigorating and inspiring. This is your opportunity to ask questions and share ideas about your situation. There will be others who share the same situation and ideas as you. There will be professionals and subject matter experts that can answer your questions or point you in the right direction to get your questions answered. After the summit, Delaware Fatherhood Family Coalition would welcome your comments on this blog or in the comment section on their page. Thanks and enjoy the summit.


About DFFC

The Delaware Fatherhood & Family Coalition is an extension of the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program and the Responsible Fatherhood Initiative created specifically to give a voice to fathers and the importance of their involvement for the well-being of their children.


Learn more

Newsletter Sign-Up

Sign up today to get the lastest news and info.




Captcha Image