Children benefit emotionally, academically, and socially from fathers who are involved in their lives. A 2015 article in the Huffington Post cites studies that show children with involved fathers are less prone to depression, start speaking earlier in life, have a more positive self-image, and are more successful in school.

Learning to Become a Great Dad

Many pregnancy centers, including True Care, offer a parenting program that welcomes dads to the sessions. Some centers, such as Athens Pregnancy Center in Georgia, offer a specific father-oriented program. Several Casper organizations also offer parenting programs, for first-time parents, for step-parents, and for parents of challenging children. Although True Care’s Baby & Me classes are available for True Care patients only, other organizations in Natrona County, including Mercer Family Resource Center, offer parenting and other programs to help moms, dads, youths, and families.

Involved Dads Benefit All Family Members

Being an involved father benefits the family unit. In the publication “The Hidden Benefits of Being an Involved Father,” University of Florida researchers cite numerous studies that show the impact of involved fathers upon children, mothers, and the dads themselves. For example, a dad’s positive interactions with newborns and infants reduce the youngster’s chances of experiencing a cognitive delay. An involved father creates better communication between family members. For the dad, being engaged with his children and his partner helps him feel more comfortable and confident in various aspects of life, from relationships to career.

Co-parenting Effectively

Even if the parents of a child are not together, a dad can still be engaged in his child(ren)’s life. Co-parenting is not easy, but do-able, especially if both adults are respectful of one another and think of the child before themselves. Experts say making an agreeable parenting plan is one of the first steps to successful co-parenting.

Free Program About Child Support and Other Parental Issues

Sometimes, especially when a child’s parents are not together, issues such as paternity, child support, and custody arise. Wyoming’s Department of Family Services (DFS) provides answers to many of the questions surrounding these issues. A publication titled “Wyoming’s Child Support Enforcement Program” can assist in finding out some of the answers. Additionally, a presentation from representatives of DFS will take place at True Care on Thursday, August 24, starting at 5:30. This program, as well as food that will be provided, is free and open to the public; RSVP is required. Call True Care at 472-2810 to register.

Being an involved dad benefits children, but at times dads need guidance on how to be the best father possible. Organizations and agencies in our community can help – reach out as needed. Great dads make great families and great communities!