Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Wednesday, May 27, 2020
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.
Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Tuesday, April 21, 2020
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.
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.
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.
Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Father’s Day: A Father’s Bond with His Newborn
Is Just as Important as a Mother’s Bond
Dads, you’re not alone if you’re feeling out of bounds with your newborn. I know life with a new baby can be overwhelming, particularly for new dads. This Father’s Day, I want to emphasize the importance of daddy-baby bonding with your newborn. Daddy-baby bonding is a topic that is not discussed enough but needs to be addressed. Did you know father-infant bonding is just as important as a mother-infant bonding during the immediate postpartum period? It is vitally important for a father to interact and bond with his newborn to help the infant’s development and to reduce the risk of paternal postpartum depression. That’s correct. Postpartum depression is not exclusive to new moms. Delayed bonding over the course of the first couple of months can increase the risk of paternal postpartum depression.
According to a new study published in Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing (JOGNN), from the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), when fathers delay bonding with their newborns, they risk altering the long-term course of paternal involvement as the infant progresses throughout childhood and adolescence. In addition, fathers “reported that they didn’t start to experience fatherhood until birth” while, mothers reported that they started to experience motherhood as soon they received news that they were pregnant. This difference influences the amount of time it takes for a mother and a father to feel a loving connection and bond with their newborn. Most fathers enter parenthood expecting an immediate emotional bond with their newborns, but many reports that forming that bond takes time.
Moms can help by encouraging dad’s involvement with their newborn. As a mom, I know that we have a ‘take charge” approach with our infants but this attitude can have negative effects on dads. Fathers have reported delayed onset of feeling bonded with their infants for as long as 6 weeks to 2 months after birth. In an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the authors reviewed 43 studies on depression in new fathers. They found that prenatal and postpartum depression was evident in about 10% of men in their studies and was relatively higher in the 3- to 6-month postpartum period. We can help fathers reduce the risk of paternal postpartum depression by getting them more involved with their newborns from the time of birth.
Successful father-infant bonding during the immediate postpartum period has been shown to have several benefits for the infant: it reduces cognitive delay, promotes weight gain in preterm infants, and improves breastfeeding rates. Dads can start to bond with their newborns by practicing these tips found in AWHONN’s magazine Healthy Mom&Baby:
● Jump right in. Don’t be afraid to begin immediately caring for and loving your baby. The more you hold your baby, the more comfortable and natural it will feel
● Take a night shift. Once mom is breastfeeding well, she may want to let you give the baby a nighttime meal. This way she can get more sleep and you will have the opportunity to bond with your newborn
● Read your newborn a book. Your newborn will enjoy the rhythm and pace of your voice while you read a book. In the early months, it’s not about what you’re reading; it’s about reading itself
● Initiate the bath. Bathing your newborn will enhance bonding and provide a multi-sensory learning experience.
● Create a bedtime ritual. Infants will learn to depend on the consistency and predictability of a nighttime routine.
Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Fathers are vitally important to their kids’ health and to public health research
Helping our children to develop healthy eating, exercise and screen-time behaviours is an important public health goal globally.
This is because behaviours established early in life often track into adulthood. And these behaviours have a big impact on a person’s risk for chronic diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
However, many Canadian children are not establishing healthy habits early in their lives. National data suggests that 70 per cent of four- to eight-year-old children do not consume the recommended number of servings of fruits and vegetables and close to 80 per cent of three- to four-year-olds exceed screen time recommendations
Because children’s health behaviours emerge early in life and in the context of their family, engaging parents in health promotion is critical.
Fathers are largely missing from this picture. A 2017 review of family-based health interventions found that fathers made up only six per cent of all parent participants.
It matters how Dad eats and moves
Emerging research suggests that fathers are critical stakeholders in the development of children’s health behaviours.
International research studies have found associations between fathers’ eating and activity behaviours and those of their children, suggesting the important influence of fathers’ role modelling.
Research with families in the Guelph Family Health Study found that modelling by fathers, but not mothers, of healthy food intake was associated with a healthier diet among their children, which points to the unique role of fathers.
Given the important role fathers play in the development of their children’s health behaviours, it is important to include them in health-promotion interventions.
Research supports involving both parents to maximize impact. One review of parenting studies found that programs including both mothers and fathers resulted in better child outcomes than those programs with only mothers.
Healthy eating is not ‘women’s work’
Despite men’s increasing involvement, women remain responsible for the majority of house and family work in Canada. On average, Canadian women spend one hour more each day than men on unpaid household work, including caring for children and meal preparation.
By including only mothers in our health-promotion efforts, we may inadvertently reinforce these inequitable gender norms and practices — for example, the notion that providing healthful foods is “women’s work.”
It could also result in less effective family-based interventions, as families may be less likely to implement and sustain behaviour changes that reinforce these inequalities
Fathers matter to health research too
It is important to engage fathers in family-based research, so that public heath interventions are informed by those with lived experience of fathering.
We recently hosted a conference that brought together international experts, students, health professionals and community stakeholders — to identify effective strategies to engage fathers in family-based health and obesity-related research.
The recommendations include targeting recruitment specifically at fathers. Research has shown that fathers are interested in participating in child health research, but report that they often don’t participate because they do not feel like they have been asked. Researchers need to use the words “father” or “dad” rather than non-specific words such as “families” or “parents” when recruiting for child health studies.
It is also important for researchers and public health professionals to honor the diversity among fathers and families, incorporating differing cultural traditions and recognizing that fatherhood varies along with ages, ethnicity, location, sexual orientation, country of origin and socioeconomic, marital and custodial status.
Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Tuesday, October 22, 2019
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.
A 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!)
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) firstname.lastname@example.org
www.dffcdads.org | email: email@example.com | phone: 1-855-733-3232
Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Friday, April 28, 2017
"Daddy Don't Go" [Movie Trailer]
Posted by Melissa Steward from National Fatherhood Initiative
Many of the nation’s top sociologists and policy makers consider fatherlessness to be the most pressing issue facing American families today. Further, disadvantaged fathers in particular face numerous obstacles in raising their children, and some fail to shoulder the responsibility. Those who stay are more important than ever and must be supported.
According to the U.S. Census, one in three children in America grow up without a father, placing them at a significantly higher risk to live in poverty, do poorly in school and run afoul of the criminal justice system. This is particularly true for New York City’s African-American and Latino children, of which 54% and 43% respectively grow up in fatherless households.
A 2014 study of over 40 million children and their parents by researchers at Harvard University found that family structure showed the strongest correlation with economic mobility — more so than other factors such as racial segregation, income inequality, school quality or social capital.
In fact, family structure is particularly important for fatherless boys who are more than twice as likely to become absent fathers themselves.
To highlight and address these challenges, “Daddy Don’t Go” is a timely and intimate journey that serves as a clear message on the importance of fathers in the lives of our nation's children. The film follows the story of four disadvantaged fathers in NYC fighting to beat the odds and defy the deadbeat dad stereotype.
"Daddy Don't Go" was conceived to inspire all parents — especially those that are disadvantaged.
“Daddy Don’t Go” will resonate deeply with urban audiences eager to see a film that challenges the “deadbeat dad” stereotype with positive and compassionate images of men persevering against the odds. Through the stories of the film's subjects, “Daddy Don’t Go” raises awareness around the obstacles that disadvantaged fathers face and can be used to inspire dads in crisis, the ones that are leaving their homes in tragically high numbers.
The film also poses urgent questions that expand the ongoing national dialogue concerning fatherhood. Can a man be a good dad in spite of not being a great provider? How does being a father shift a man’s identity?
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?