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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.

3 Steps to Help Dads Deal with “Dad-Shaming”

Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Dad-shaming?

Yeah, it’s a thing.

As dads have assumed a greater role in the parenting of their children, they have assumed a greater risk of being shamed for their parenting.

recent national poll found that more than half of dads of children age 13 and younger had been criticized for their parenting style or choices. Of those dads:

  • 67% had been criticized about how they discipline their child
  • 43% had been criticized about what they feed their child
  • 32% had been criticized for being too rough with their child
  • 32% had been criticized for not paying attention to their child

Dads had also been criticized around decisions about their child’s sleep (24%), appearance (23%), and safety (19%).

Basically, dads receive a ton of criticism about virtually every aspect of parenting. It’s no wonder that some dads can be a little gun shy when it comes to taking care of their children. Let’s face it. The gold standard in our culture for parenting is the way in which moms parent—their parenting style. That standard is the underlying factor that leads to the criticism of dads. Our cultural norms around effective parenting haven’t kept up with the increased role of dads in their children’s caregiving or the research that shows dads and moms parent differently—in complimentary ways that benefit children’s well-being.

Fortunately, that same poll showed that dads are extremely confident in their parenting—9 in 10 (92%) said they do a good job. That’s important because confidence is vital to success in any endeavor.

On the other hand, research shows that people consistently overestimate their awareness, knowledge, and skill. They’re overconfident. Known as overconfidence bias, people are more subject to it the more confident they are. Parenting is no exception.

So, as a professional who serves dads, what should you do with this knowledge?

  • First, assume that an involved dad has been criticized for his parenting even when he doesn’t mention it. Let him know he’s not alone and should not feel shame simply because he parents differently than mom.
  • Second, assume that an uninvolved dad will eventually be criticized for his parenting as he becomes more involved in his child’s life. Prepare him for the criticism.
  • Third, realize that criticism of a dad’s parenting might have merit.
  • Fourth, share with all dads that the awareness, knowledge, and skills they possess and are learning will help them parent effectively. Tell them that as they bring their innate parenting ability to the surface—a dad’s parenting style—that it will benefit their child above and beyond the way mom parents.

With that foundation, help dads discern between baseless and valid criticism. Share these three steps to help dads deal with current and future dad-shaming:

  1. Don’t take it personally. (That’s easier said than done, especially when it comes to something as raw as being criticized for how you parent.) This is the first and most vital step. If you take criticism personally, you won’t move beyond this step.
  2. Keep an open mind, actively listen, and challenge yourself. The ability to keep an open mind, actively listen, and challenge yourself is a cornerstone of any effort to improve, including as a parent. You might overestimate your parenting awareness, knowledge, and skills. Seek to continually improve as a parent. Someone might have a valid criticism of your parenting.
  3. Step back and reflect. Take as much time as you need to reflect, as objectively as possible, on the criticism. It might be clear right away whether the criticism is baseless or valid. (Hint: It’s baseless if the criticism is of a dad’s innate parenting style.) If it’s not clear, seek the counsel of someone whose parenting advice you value and who has shown the ability to be objective and direct with you. It might be the mother of your child, one of your child’s grandparents, or a friend who is a good dad or mom. (It might even be you, the professional!)

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Before the Baby > Involving Dads in Maternal Child Health

Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Before the Baby > Involving Dads
in Maternal Child Health

Posted by Ave Mulhern from National Fatherhood Initiative


At a recent conference on Maternal Health and Infant Mortality, a new concept was presented—a good concept I might add—as it asked health care providers to ask women of child bearing age about their plans to become pregnant in the future. For example, at an annual well woman visit, the provider would ask if in the upcoming year the woman is planning a pregnancy. If the answer was no and the woman did not plan a pregnancy in the near future, the health care provider might discuss various birth control options and also go over some steps to prepare for a healthy pregnancy if in her future plans.

If the answer was yes, the provider would proactively discuss a series of 11 topics and make suggestions that would help the woman have a healthier pregnancy and ultimately deliver a healthy child. That, of course would be the goal. It is a good and proactive step in increasing the health of both the mother and the child. But there was something in particular that captured my attention about this list.

Here are the 11 topics the provider would go over with the woman and in this order:

  1. Pregnancy Intention
  2. Maintaining a Healthy Weight
  3. Substance Use
  4. A Daily Vitamin (with Folic Acid)
  5. Medications You’re Taking
  6. Chronic Conditions
  7. Mental Health
  8. Healthy Relationships
  9. Vaccinations
  10. Environmental Hazards
  11. Health Screenings

What captured my attention was that the healthy relationship question was 8th in the order of the 11 questions. Based on what we know about the importance of father involvement, the first question to ask after determining pregnancy intention should be the healthy relationship question. What is the relationship with the father or potential father? Is the woman in a committed, healthy, preferably a married relationship with father or father-to-be? Statistically, children do better overall in that kind of setting so why would we rank that question as less important than maintaining a healthy weight?

With all the data we have on hand around the importance of father involvement to children, it’s critical to educate women on the value and importance that the relationship with the father can bring to her and the child, with an emphasis on a healthy relationship! 

recent article from the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ), Fathers: Powerful Allies for Maternal and Child Health shares good information and research on the impact, the positive impact fathers have on maternal and child health. It states, “Maternal and child health programs and professionals have become increasingly more cognizant of how fathers, specifically, affect their children’s health and development,”… “Moving this conversation forward, and highlighting strategies that support father engagement and involvement, is a critical opportunity to improve children’s health outcomes in the decades to come.”

The article discusses some of the significant barriers that fathers still face and provides links to some creative partnerships to help promote father engagement. As we learned from the research, fathers may not be aware of the impact they have on their child, and for those that do know their importance, they still may face societal and institutional barriers, or even barriers from the mom.

The article continues that we need to empower fathers as advocates for their children’s health: “I think many fathers know they’re important and their presence matters,” says Berns. NICHQ President and CEO, “But we should do more to impress upon them just how big of a difference they make—not that they are just a supportive addition but that their actions and attitudes really will affect the lifelong health of their children. Intentionally talking to fathers about their impact and what they can do at every stage of their children’s lives will empower them as champions for children’s health and well-being.”


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Kids Who Do Chores Are More Likely to Be Successful. Here’s Why

Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Kids Who Do Chores Are More Likely to Be Successful. Here’s Why

Children who help out at home grow up to be happy, healthy, successful adults — when parents dole out the work in the right fashion.

By Lauren Vinopal Jul 25 2019, 2:25 PM



Chores are good for kids. Like, this-is-going-to-get-my-kid-into-Harvard good. Research shows that kids who do chores grow into happier, healthier, far more successful adults, and the sooner parents start them on them, the better off they are. But why? It seems to all boil down to acclimation. To succeed we all need to work and working hard takes some getting used to. Social scientists suspect that when children are expected to put their toys away, make their beds, or just wipe down the counter around at a young age, they get comfortable with these tasks long before they realize it’s work. When they grow up and inevitably have to accomplish these things, they’re less likely to rail against them. Instead, they get things done and are better off for it.

“The skills that kids learn early will last most of their lives. Chores teach kids skills that they will need to survive on their own and to get along with others,” psychologist Dr. Shane Owens tells Fatherly. “From an evolutionary perspective, chores teach kids how to take care of themselves and to be a cooperative, productive member of the tribe.” And yet in the age of Roombas and screen-based play there’s evidence that kids these days are doing fewer chores than ever before. Parents need to take matters into their own hands, make chores a priority, and follow this expert-back advice on how to get make the most out of chores.

Take the Time to Teach the Skills Associated With the Chores

Let’s face it, young kids don’t have a deep practical skill set (coloring within the lines doesn’t count). Completing small tasks around the house is a good place to start. Chores are one of the first opportunities for children to take on basic, low-stakes responsibilities so they can learn to do them right. Unfortunately, this means that giving children chores does not necessarily translate into less work for parents. It likely means more work, not just because kids may resist responsibilities at first, but they might be bad at them. Sure, if moms and dads want something done right, they can do it themselves and that might seem more efficient and easier in the moment. But if kids are going to ever make their bed instead of jumping on it, it’s worth the time and effort at the front-end. “Kids cannot learn to do that unless they are provided the opportunity and expected to do chores like cleaning up after themselves and helping with cooking, doing the dishes, and laundry,” Owens says.

Focus on Time Management (And, Yes, Use Chore Charts)

“Kids who do chores learn to organize their time and to delay gratification. Both of those are vital skills for later success,” Owens explains. More specifically breaking bigger projects like cleaning the house into smaller, more manageable tasks like putting toys away, shows children how much time and effort certain tasks take. They also learn that sometimes they have to wait before they’re free to go play, which is a reward after getting the job done. In doing this, kids figure out something most people struggle with in adulthood — it takes a little time to improve their surroundings and make life a little easier, but the investment pays off. Want to really drive home the time and effort with a visual representation for your kid? That’s what chore charts are all about.

Frame Chores as a Household Partnership

Twenty years of research from the University of Minnesota reveals that the single best predictor for future relationship success with family, friends, and romantic partners is doing chores at the age of 3 and 4 years old. However, for children who were not given chores until they were teenagers, the exact opposite was true — they tend to struggle in close relationships across the board. Scientists suspect that when it comes to chores, parents might want to start sooner than later. Owens says parents can start as young as 2 years old, before kids see helping mom and dad as an actual chore, so they are more eager to imitate what their parents do, even if it is as simple as sweeping.“A kid who learns early to do chores will be a more generous and cooperative partner,” he says. “It’s easier to live and work with a person who has learned to take care of his own stuff and to be responsible for some of the boring work that adult and family life requires.”

Chores Are Work, So Motivate Them Like a Good Boss

Along with childhood chores being the strongest predictor for relationship success, the same University of Minnesota study found that they are significantly correlated with academic and career success as well. Data also indicated that early chores were linked with higher IQs. This echoes the results of the longest-running longitudinal study in history, spanning 75 years, where Harvard scientists found that success largely depends on individual work ethic, which is correlated with participation in housework as children. To Owens, this connection isn’t surprising. “Chores teach kids important self-regulation skills — organization, discipline, and work ethic — and vital relationship skills like cooperation, teamwork, and respect for others. So kids who are expected to do them are more successful.”

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Take Your Dad to Breakfast

Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Monday, May 07, 2018

Sussex County Delaware Fatherhood & Family Coalition

Take Your Dad to Breakfast


June 16, 2018 from 9AM to Noon

IHOP Restaurant
22812 Sussex Highway, Seaford, DE 19973

Click here to sign-up

FOR MORE INFO: Tanisha Showell (302) 518-0618, tshowell@connectionscsp.org WWW.DFFCDADS.ORG

kent-county-father-daughter-dance

Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Monday, April 30, 2018

KENT COUNTY LEADERSHIP COALITION cordially invites you to our

FATHER & DAUGHTER DANCE


SATURDAY, JUNE 23, 2018

Outlook at the Duncan Center
500 W.Loockerman St., Dover, DE 19901

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT : Sade' Truiett 302-674-1355 ext. 214 (office)
302-278-5449 (cell) struiett@dffcdads.org
www.dffcdads.org | email: admin@dffcdads.org | phone: 1-855-733-3232

Fathers Matter for the Whole Family

Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Fathers Matter for the Whole Family

This fatherhood video shows a diverse group of dads answering questions such as:

  • Where do men learn to be fathers?
  • How does society view fathers?
  • What more can society do to support fathers?

The Problem of Incarceration for America's Children

Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Monday, April 03, 2017

The Problem of Incarceration for America's Children

Posted by Melissa Steward from National Fatherhood Initiative


There are 2.7 million children with a parent in prison or jail. Ninety-two percent (92%) of parents in prison are fathers.

The sort-of good news is that ninety-five (95%) of all inmates will eventually be released. The not-so-good news is that most—2 out of 3 inmates—will re-offend and be back in prison.
It's clear we have a problem. But we also have a solution.
When we talk about father absence in general, we focus on the U.S. Census Bureau's statistic that 24 million children—one out of three—live without their dad in the home. Consequently, there is a “father factor” in nearly all of the societal issues facing America today.

We must take action to raise up more involved, responsible, and committed fathers. And that includes fathers who are currently (or formerly) incarcerated.
To help you better understand and share this message, we created a simple yet powerful infographic outlining the problem and solution for America's children due to fathers behind bars.

The Facts [The Problem for America's Children]

There are 2.7 million children with a parent in prison or jail.  
The number of children with a father in prison has grown by 79% since 1991.
Having a parent who is incarcerated is now recognized as an “adverse childhood experience” (ACE). This is different from other ACEs because of the trauma, stigma, and shame it inflicts on children.
More than 650,000 ex-offenders are released from prison every year. Fathers are returning to their children and families without the skills they need to be involved, responsible, and committed fathers.
Incarceration often spans generations. Fathers in prison are, overwhelmingly, fatherless themselves. Youths in father-absent households have significantly higher odds of incarceration.
Two-thirds of released prisoners, or 429,000, are likely to be rearrested within three years. Recidivism is a huge, national problem, and fathers are leaving their children behind.


The Solution for America's Children


Give incarcerated fathers a vision that they have a unique and irreplaceable role in the life of their child. Increased confidence, along with changes in attitude and skills are a powerful motivator for successful reentry and to bring home fathers to their children.

Use an evidence-based program to rehabilitate fathers and train men on what it means to be a man and a father. NFI's InsideOut Dad® program is the only evidence-based parenting program designed specifically for incarcerated fathers. An evaluation conducted by Rutger's University found that fathers who went through InsideOut Dad® while in prison showed statistically significant increases in fathering knowledge and confidence/self-esteem compared to a control group.

Connect fathers with their children heart-to-heart. Through activities and group sessions in a program like InsideOut Dad®, fathers take action to reach out to their children to begin, repair, or rejuvenate relationships with their children and families.

Help to reduce recidivism, especially for fathers. Fathers who are involved with, and connected to their children and families prior to release are less likely to return to jail or prison. In fact, some states have conducted evaluations that connect the use of NFI's InsideOut Dad® program along with other interventions to reduce recidivism.


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How To Involve Dad During & After Mom's Pregnancy

Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Monday, March 13, 2017

How To Involve Dad During & After Mom's Pregnancy

Posted by Melissa Steward

Children do much better physically and emotionally when dad is involved right from the start. In fact, dad's physical presence at the birth of his child increases the likelihood his child will be a healthy newborn. It also means mom is likely to be healthier. On the other hand, when dad is absent, baby and mom are less likely to be healthy.

But what about after the child’s birth? How involved is dad at the earliest stage of his child's life? These are two vital questions, because based on research, a child with an involved dad is more likely to grow up healthy physically, emotionally, and socially.

The children of absent dads are more likely to have a range of health complications and low birth weight. And moms are more likely to have had complications during pregnancy.

Research shows when a child grows up in a father-absent home, he or she is at two times greater risk of infant mortality, four times more likely to live in poverty, more likely to face abuse and neglect, and seven times more likely to become pregnant as a teen. And unfortunately, there’s more to this list; view more father absence data at www.fatherhood.org/statistics.

Based on the above, it’s important that your organization and staff take this research to heart and do everything you can to involve fathers right from the start.

Here are a few ways you can leverage National Fatherhood Initiative resources to do just that:

Share the above information with dads and moms from the moment you learn they want to have children or a pregnancy is confirmed.
NFI’s Importance of an Involved Father Brochure is one of our newest resources to help you share this information in a simple and easy-to-understand way with mom and dad.
Another is our Tip Card for moms titled For Baby’s Health, which helps mom understand the importance and benefits of dad’s involvement for the health of their baby.

Before baby is born, provide dads with training on how to be a great dad. NFI's 24/7 Dad®programs and The 7 Habits of a 24/7 Dad™ workshop are excellent tools to use.
You can also give dads 10 Tips for Expectant Dads to provide expectant fathers with tips to help dad bond with baby, while helping mom-to-be.

Before baby is born, provide moms with training on the importance of encouraging dad's involvement, and how to become a “gateway” to his involvement rather than a “gatekeeper”.

NFI's Understanding Dad™8-week program and Mom as Gateway™ FatherTopics Booster Session (run in 1-day or a few shorter sessions) are excellent tools to use. The Importance of an Involved Father Brochure is also excellent to give to moms In fact, it also contains a short list of ways mom can encourage dad’s involvement.


READ MORE INFO:

How Dads View Co-Parenting

Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Thursday, February 02, 2017

How Dads View Co-Parenting

Posted by Christopher A. Brown

One of the best ways to help dads become more involved in the lives of their children is to ensure that the co-parenting relationship between dad and mom is a good one.

That's because one of the primary barriers to many dads' involvement is restrictive gatekeeping behavior on the part of their children's mom. If you're not familiar with the term "restrictive maternal gatekeeping," it refers to actions that a mom takes to unnecessarily restrict a dad's access to their children. This behavior most often occurs when dad doesn't live with mom and his children, but it also occurs in homes where mom and dad are married or cohabit.

So where do you start to ensure dad and mom have a good co-parenting relationship? Learn what the research says about co-parenting, including how dads and moms view co-parenting.

  • Cooperative (high levels of cooperation, low levels of conflict),
  • Conflicted (low levels of cooperation, high levels of conflict), or
  • Disengaged (low levels of cooperation, low levels of conflict).

A new study from the federally-funded Parents and Children Together (PACT) evaluation sheds light on how dads view co-parenting. (This evaluation focuses on measuring the implementation and outcomes of four fatherhood programs funded by the federal government in 2011.) Researchers conducted two rounds of in-depth interviews with 87 resident and nonresident dads enrolled in these programs. Based on these interviews, the researchers classified each dad-mom relationship as:

They found a fairly even distribution of these relationships in the sample. What makes this research most helpful for you, however, is the richness of the qualitative data on how dads in each type of relationship differ in their views on co-parenting and engage in parenting with mom. Those findings are too extensive to recount here, so please download the report to increase your knowledge in this vital area. But in addition to this rich data, the researchers made two recommendations that will help your organization to more effectively serve dads:

  • Offer services to help dads navigate and potentially improve relationships with moms.
  • Help nonresident dads obtain the legal agreements that can structure and support greater involvement with their children. 


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Strengthening Families and The 5 Protective Factors Series: Concrete Support

Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Friday, December 30, 2016

Strengthening Families and The 5 Protective Factors Series:

Concrete Support

Posted by Christopher A. Brown


Concrete Support in Times of Need

About concrete support CSSP emphasizes, “Meeting basic economic needs like food, shelter, clothing and health care is essential for families to thrive.”

Father-specific programs and resources are necessary to adequately address this factor because fathers, and men in general, are reluctant to seek help for their basic needs, much less to admit they have them. As noted in an earlier post in this series, Doctor Dad® helps fathers meet the basic health care needs necessary for their children to thrive and through teaching techniques that are particularly effective with men (e.g. hands-on learning and demonstration supported by visual aids).

CSSP points out that family poverty is the factor most strongly correlated with child abuse and neglect. Families need concrete support to prevent them from or lift them out of poverty. Research shows that father absence places children and families at greater risk of poverty. Therefore, any effort addresses this factor when that effort connects fathers with their children to prevent and intervene on father absence.

NFI recognizes, however, that meeting the basic needs of families (especially those at risk for or living in poverty) is beyond the scope of father-specific programs and resources. Therefore, NFI provides technical assistance and training to help organizations understand the basic needs faced by specific populations of fathers and the importance of integrating father-involvement efforts into the services organizations provide that help families meet their basic economic needs.

Incarcerated fathers are one of the specific populations of fathers NFI helps organizations to serve, primarily through the InsideOut Dad® program. These fathers often struggle with meeting their own and their families’ basic economic needs before and after incarceration.

In 2010, NFI completed The Connections Project, an 18-month federally-funded initiative that involved training on InsideOut Dad® and produced several resources that build the capacity of state and local corrections systems and direct-service providers to better understand the basic needs of formerly-incarcerated fathers for successful reentry into society.....

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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.


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