Fatherhood Strengthening (Week 1)

June 3, 2021

As we enter the month of June, we also enter the month Father’s Day is celebrated! This month this column illuminates the fatherhood issue and the father’s importance to the family. Churches are encouraged to also get involved in fatherhood strengthening. The church can help by training men to succeed in marriage. Churches can also work with local organizations to help find male mentors for fatherless boys. Society is beginning to see that children living without their fathers are at a serious disadvantage because a father’s love not only helps to prevent the development of some social ills, but also contributes to a child’s emotional well-being.

In fact, research conducted by Ronald Rohner, Director of the Center for the Study of Parental Acceptance and Rejection in the School of Family Studies at the University of Connecticut, found for girls, a dad is clearly the first man in her life. Girls look to their dads for the standard of what it means to be a man. She takes special notice of the relationship he has with her mother; she watches how he talks about women and how he treats women. What the daughter sees and hears then becomes the foundation for her future relationships. When it comes to the father-son relationship it is equally critical. The father provides an emotional foundation for his son. A father teaches his son how to be comfortable showing love, how to be generous, hopeful, and compassionate. As the son becomes a teenager, the father teaches him limits and rules and basically shows his son how to be a man.

In addition, the Healthy Marriage & Responsible Father Fund of the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Family Assistance, indicates that healthy fathers provide practical support in raising their children and serve as models for their development (Amato 1998). Children with involved, loving fathers are significantly more likely to do well in school, have a healthy self-esteem and exhibit empathy and pro-social behavior compared to children who have uninvolved fathers. (Yoder, et al, 2016; Cabrera et al., 2017). The report went on to say more engaged fathers (whether living with or apart from their children) can help foster a child’s healthy physical, emotional and social development. (Cabrera & Tamis-Lemonda, 2012). To find out more about this program, visit their website at the Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Family Assistance: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ofa/programs/healthy-marriage-responsible-fatherhood.

Join me this month as we celebrate fathers!!!

Next Week: Continuation

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