Father’s Day is fast approaching. Why celebrate fathers? Because, like moms, dads have a big impact upon their children. Some dads are absent from their children, which has an effect, and some dads are engaged in their kids’ lives, which also has an impact. A recent report by 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 academically.

Learning to Become a Good Dad

Many pregnancy centers, including True Care, offer a parenting program which welcomes dads to the sessions, understanding the vital role fathers play in their children’s lives. Some centers, including Life Network in Colorado Springs, offers a specific program for dads, a Fatherhood program that correlates with the Earn While You Learn program. Other 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 to only True Care patients who are first-time parents, other organizations in Natrona County, including Mercer Family Resource Center, offer several parenting programs to help both moms and dads.

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 it is do-able, especially if both adults are respectful of one another and think of the child before themselves. Making an agreeable parenting plan is one of the first steps to successful co-parenting, experts say.

Why is it important to be a good parent and why are dads so significant, even if the woman is not married to or even with the baby’s father? A True Care blog post from last year helps answer those questions.

One way to be an involved dad in Casper is to attend the Natrona County Father’s Day event in Washington Park with your family on Sat., June 18, starting at 11 am. Enjoy the summer day, all the festivities, and stop by the vendor booths while sharing time as a family.

Involved Dads Benefit All Family Members

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

With so many positives to being an actively involved dad, why are there so many absent fathers and what toll does that make upon not just the family, but society as a whole? We’ll explore those thoughts next week in Part 2.