Supporting fathers on Father’s Day: Hear from four contributors

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

For Father’s Day this year, hear several contributors discuss the important role fathers play in the lives of their families and how you can support fathers who might be struggling.

As a community, we must recognize, support the vital role that fathers play

“In terms of family dynamics, fathers support effective co-parenting, leading to a balanced and harmonious family environment. Their interactions with partners model healthy relationships for children, teaching them about love, respect, and partnership. This modeling is crucial for children to form stable and healthy relationships as adults. All of the factors that we have identified help to illustrate that the involvement of fathers is indispensable for the holistic development of children. Their contributions extend far beyond financial support, shaping the emotional, cognitive, social, and physical well-being of their children. As a community, we must recognize and support the vital role that fathers play, ensuring that they have the resources and encouragement needed to fulfill their responsibilities.”

- Read more from contributor John Payne

Everyone can play a role in helping support fathers

“From one dad to a child with a developmental disability to the other dads of children with developmental disabilities: know you are not alone or unnoticed in your journey in your unique path of fatherhood. I recognize your tireless advocacy, your boundless patience, and the joy you bring to your child’s life. Thanks for being their hero, their champion, and their unwavering source of love. Additionally, you have a tremendous opportunity to be a friend and support for another father. As one dad shared, ‘Experienced fathers who are willing to engage with and support less experienced fathers are valuable.” Consider reaching out to connect with other men to be the friend and role model other men are eager to connect with and learn from. Your lived experience is life-giving to fathers feeling isolated, alone, disconnected, and unsupported.”

- Read more from contributor Corey Ferguson

Credit: HUE12, LLC

Credit: HUE12, LLC

Fathers as role models: It sounds simple, but is it?

“We cannot completely chalk up the struggles of fathers are due to them not being shown how to be a good role model. Barriers and difficult life decisions that men face must be considered. The most common obstacles are well known in our community: lack of education, child support arrearages, unfavorable background checks that make obtaining gainful employment difficult, drug use and mental health challenges, to name a few. Less understood are the choices many people have to make as a result of fewer resources.

Local organizations have funded and executed an experience known as the Cost of Poverty Experience (COPE). In a COPE session, social servants, many of whom lament the fact that clients need to make better choices, go through an exercise in which they are citizens with limited resources, exposing them to the types of tough decisions folks make every day. This eye-opening half-day exercise routinely brings social servants to tears as they realize for the first time why their clients may be late, upset or even rude.”

- Read more from contributor Dr. Michael Newsom

Best Father’s Day gift isn’t what you get, but what you’ve given

“Children become more stable adults when growing up when they have emotionally available fathers who show their sons and daughters affection and attention. That early influence carries throughout life because even as 30-, 40- and 50-somethings, those “children” still seek advice, guidance and affirmation.

Those later-in-life moments tell the real tale of a successful fatherhood. It’s easy for children to listen to their dad when they’re young because they want to believe in him.

The true test comes when they’re grown. If they keep calling, hugging and smiling when they see you, you don’t need Father’s Day adulation to know your worth.”

- Read more from contributor Ray Marcano

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