Focus on Fathers

A grant from the Verizon Foundation this year is funding a project to engage men in preventing family violence and supporting our work to develop resources, outreach and workshops. To learn more, please contact SCAN.

Fathers play a critical role in the healthy development and future success of their children.

> “Kids Need Dads” Fact Sheet in English
> “El Valor De Un Papá” Fact Sheet in Spanish
> “How Fathers Can Connect with Kids” Bookmark in English & Spanish 
> “The Power of Fathers” White Paper
> Listen to the Parenting Today Radio Show: Focus on Fathers

Kids with positively involved dads…

  • Are self-confident
  • Do better in school and have better social skills
  • Have better self control and fewer behavioral problems
  • Tend to be more sensitive to the needs of others
  • Are less likely to use drugs and alcohol
  • Are less likely to experience mental health issues
  • Are less likely to engage in early sexual activity
  • Are less likely to experience abuse and neglect

How do you define “Dad”?

The role of a father is different for every family. Some dads stay at home with their children while a mother works fulltime. Others are divorced and might only see their kids on weekends. And some might work long hours or travel far from their children on a regular basis. In some families, the father figure is an uncle or step-dad or other male role model. No matter what your circumstances are, one thing is for sure: having an involved father DOES make a difference for your children!

WHY does a Dad matter?

Engaged fathers – men who know their children, talk with them, and are active in their lives – make a positive impact. Some of the benefits children enjoy from an engaged dad include:

> SELF ESTEEM. Kids with active fathers often have stronger self esteem, which means they are more happy and con. dent. Knowing that a father (as well as other parent and family) loves them teaches them that they are highly valued and sets them up for healthier relationships in the future.

> HEALTH & SAFETY. When children receive guidance and financial support from fathers, it ensures access to necessities like shelter, food and medical care essential to healthy development.

> SCHOOL SUCCESS. Studies show that children with active fathers tend to score higher on verbal and math tests, and also have greater problem-solving and social skills. They’re also less likely to drop out of school.

> SECURITY. Having an active father increases a child’s sense of stability and security (both physical and emotional). Children learn trust and do not have to worry about being abandoned.

> LOWER RISK. Statistics show that children with engaged dads have more support developing moral beliefs and are less likely to have early sexual experiences and juvenile delinquency.

HOW can I stay involved?

There is no one way to be a perfect father, but there are MANY ways to be a great dad!

1. Play together! Studies show that moms and dads parent in very different (and valuable!) ways, and they play differently too. When you play with your kids, you’re giving them new experiences and developmental skills, as well as helping them learn boundaries and self-control.

2. Listen to your kids. Plan a daily time to talk about what’s going on at school, with friends, etc. Ask questions and be sure to listen to their answers. Try to hold o. on giving advice and just be curious about how they experience different things. Guide them in problem-solving without judging. Having a dad available can mean a child will talk more, share different ideas and feel unconditional love.

3. Be patient. Parenting is not easy. Be patient with your children and remember to be a role model. Your ability to control your impulses and manage your emotions will serve as a great example for your kids!

4. Say, “I love you.” Show your child you love them in everything you do. Say, “I love you,” every day. Give them hugs. Tell them you are proud of them, acknowledge their hard work and success, and be there for them when they struggle.

Archived materials:

> “Focus on Fathers” Fact Sheet in English

> “Focus on Fathers” Fact Sheet in Spanish

> Listen to the 2012 Parenting Today radio show on Fatherhood