An Open Letter to Young Dads and Dads-to-Be

As I write this, our first-born is just back home from his first year of college and our youngest is soon to finish her junior year of high school. A window will close soon for us. That window through which we enjoy hours and hours physically together most days, molding each other. That window closure is the natural way of things; it truly is the way it’s meant to be as they become their own people. Though this dad finds that bittersweet, it’s much easier to face knowing I have no big regrets.

That’s not to say I didn’t make mistakes; I made tons of them, and continue to very regularly. But I don’t look back and say “I wish I’d made more effort to be a part of it all.” I was intentional, from well before they were born, about being as much a part of their childhood as humanly possible. For all the miscues in the past and future, getting that one right has made all the difference for them, and for me.

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Study Confirms Importance of Inviting Dads Too

This week I read about a new study in the Journal of Marriage and Family examining the effects of focusing social services programs on mothers as opposed to parents in general. Researchers at the University of California Berkeley found that (news flash!) such programs end up excluding fathers, which turns out to be bad for children.

The study, funded by the California Department of Social Services Office of Child Abuse Prevention, compared father-only programs to general parenting programs and to a control group. The main findings:

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