your child needs you

It's pretty obvious that every child needs a father. Involved fatherhood is good for kids, families, and fathers themselves.

It's pretty obvious that every child needs a father. Involved fatherhood is good for kids, families, and fathers themselves.

Men today are spending more time with their children and more time helping around the house.

And even more significant than the time spent with the children is the concern that men today have for their children and their desire to be active parents.

Some fathers suffer from what I call "baby illiteracy", but this is easily remedied when fathers read about babies, take part in childbirth classes, attend the birth, share in the care of the baby from the very beginning, and serve as an active member of the parenting team.

For starters, fathers provide half of the child's genetic material. They also provide a second pair of hands, monetary resources, a role model of an adult male, and the teaching of specific skills.

And dad is another source of unconditional love so essential to every child.

We have all heard the expression "it takes a village to raise a child". In traditional societies, the extended family takes part in child-rearing.

Most of us don't have an extended family handy, so all the parenting tasks fall to mummy and daddy of the nuclear family. It's pretty obvious that a mother employed outside the home needs help with child-rearing.

Children need to learn how to react to different people. The ideal situation in infancy is having two primary caretakers, a mother and a father.

Many people describe their father as a distant figure, a person hard to get close to.

But today's father has been liberated from the stereotype of the cold, impersonal, unemotional man.

Men are not afraid or ashamed to experience emotional closeness to their child.

A Father's Tasks

l Mother your child's mother. When you provide support for the mother, you help her to mother well. She needs your support during pregnancy to help her deal with her changing body and feelings. She needs your help and support to recover from the birth. She needs your help in parenting.

l Share in the most important part of parenting: socialising the baby. This means discussing how to discipline the child, learning how to deal with your own feelings about how you were disciplined as a child, learning how to communicate with both spouse and child, and striving for consistency.

l Spend time alone with your toddler or child. Play. Go for walks. Hang out together. Read to the child.

l Teach your child what you know how to do and what you love to do whether it be sports, music, backpacking, or chess. - Parent Kids Right