WWB Training Kit # 16 Fathers and Father-Figures:

WWB Training Kit # 16 Fathers and Father-Figures:

WWB Training Kit # 16 Fathers and Father-Figures: Their Important Role in Childrens Social and Emotional Development The single biggest social problem in our society may be the growing absence of fathers from their childrens homes because it contributes to so many other

social problems. Former President Bill Clinton In 1960, over 80% of our nations children went to sleep in a home where both the biological mother and father were present. Today that number has dropped to less than 25%. Dr. Ron Klinger The Center for Successful Fathering

Why focus on fathers and fatherfigures? Fathers and mothers are childrens first and primary teachers Every parent has a unique way of caring for and interacting with his or her child. Bridging the gap between early childhood settings and home requires that teachers determine the unique strengths, wishes, and concerns of each parent.

Father or Dad Redefined The term father is sometimes used more broadly to describe men who are important in the life of a child: biological fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers, godfathers, friends, and mentors Children with involved dads are:

More successful in school More ambitious

More self confident with their identity Self-protective and self-reliant Less likely to drop out Less susceptible to peer pressure Less likely to get in trouble with the law Fathers Importance on Childrens Social Emotional Development Engagement and Interaction

Availability and Accessibility Physical Presence Emotional Presence Responsibility for Day-to-Day Care Direct Care Indirect Care Activity 1 Pair-Think-Share

Pair with a partner Think about obstacles to father involvement and then ways to support and encourage father involvement Share your thoughts with the group Activity 1 Obstacles to father involvement

Ways to encourage father involvement What can providers do? Be clear why involving fathers is important Acknowledge fathers as skilled and important caregivers Recognize fathers impact on social

emotional development Demonstrate how fathers can have a positive impact (role play, videos) What can providers do?

Assess the needs of fathers Develop programs in response to needs Evaluate program effectiveness Realize that each father has strengths, needs, and concerns individualizing is key Additional Resources http://www.fatherhood.org

http://www.fathersnetwork.org http://www.fathering.org Levine, J.A., Murphy, D.T., & Wilson, S. (1994). Getting men involved: Strategies for early childhood programs. New York: Scholastic.

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