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Discussing the Importance of Fathers and Male Figures in Social Development


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  • 1. Discussing the Importance of Fathers and Male Figures in Social Development
    Presented by:
    Victoria Scott
    January 31, 2011
  • 2. On June 19, 2009, the 100th anniversary of Father’s Day, President Obama hosted a town hall on fatherhood.Watch him discuss the vital role fathers play in our nation’s communities and families.
  • 3. “From birth, children who have an involved father or male figure are more likely to be emotionally secure, confident in exploring their surroundings, and have better social connections later in life.”
  • 4. Connections between fathers and children lead to…
    • Increased cognitive ability
    • 5. Educational achievement
    • 6. Psychological well-being
    • 7. Social behavior
  • 8. Fathers who actively play with their children appear to reinforce the notion of emotional self-control in their children and help their children learn to recognize the emotional cues of others
    Young children whose fathers are involved in their lives tend to make better, longer-lasting friendships across their lifespan
    Children raised with responsible fathers tend to get along better with their peers
    Active fathers have children who score higher in problem-solving tasks and in social situations
    The link between fathers and social development
    Ladd, L. “What Fathers Contribute to Child Development”.
  • 9. How will YOU impact a child’s well-being?
    “Involved fathers bring positive benefits to their children that no other person is as likely to bring”
  • 10. Provide children with opportunities to play with peers
    Play with children in a “peer-like” way
    Talk with children about social relationships and values
    Take a problem-solving approach
    Endorse positive, relevant strategies
    Reflect a positive, resilient attitude toward social setbacks
    Intervene when necessary, but let children work out problems themselves when possible
    Steps youcan take to enhancesocial development
  • 11. Example of playing with your child in a “peer-like” way
    Parent: Did you see these blocks?Child: Oh, blocks!Parent: What could we do?Child: I know! We could make like, a, uh, a big pen.Parent: A pen! O.K. Here, I'll start here, O.K.?Child: No, no. We gotta start way over here. Move it over here.Parent: Alright, I see, so it won't run into the sofa. Oh, but if I turn the block like this, the pen will be longer. Or should we have it taller?Child: Well, it's gotta be tall, so T-Rex can't jump it.Parent: (Picks up dinosaur: 'lopes' it along floor toward fence.) (In gruff voice) RRRRR.... I'm gonna jump the fence.Child: (Picks up another dinosaur figure, pushes it toward parents dinosaur.) But I'm T-Rex and I've got sharp teeth, so you better not stomp the fence. Here, here's a cow you can eat! (Throws small farm animal toward other dinosaur.)Parent: Chomp, chomp, chomp. Thank you Mr. T-REX.
    Mize, J. and Abell, E. “Encouraging Social Skills in Young Children.”
  • 12. Facilitating the social learning process leads to…
    Positive and safe school environment
    Resiliency in the face of future crises or other stressful life events
    Children who seek appropriate and safe avenues for aggression and frustration
    Children who take personal responsibility
    National Association of School Psychologists, 2002
  • 13. Will you make the commitment?
    “Every child needs someone who is ‘crazy about him,’ a person who is steadfastly ‘in love with him,’ and whose heart beats a little faster at his first smile, first steps and first words”
    (Katz, pg. 13).
  • 14. Your involvement can significantly effect your child’s social development
    Modeling positive adult male behavior
    Making choices that promote positive moral values and the development of conscience
    Providing emotional support
    Modeling empathy
    Exhibiting self-control
  • 15. Click the screen above
    This is the Most Important Thing You Will Ever Do…
  • 16. Resources for Fathers & Male Figures
    For Fathers
    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: Promoting Responsible Fatherhood
    National Center for Fathering
    National Fatherhood Initiative
    National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse
    Fathers Network: Supporting Fathers and Families Raising Children with Special Needs
    For Male Figures/Mentors
    Big Brothers Big Sisters
    National Mentoring Partnership
    For Educators/Community Partners
    NAEYC Article: Involving Fathers
  • 17. Children’s books featuring fathers and other important male figures
    Books to Share with Children
    A Day with Dad, by Bo R. Holmberg. Illus. by Eva Eriksson. 2008. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press.
    Daddy Makes the Best Spaghetti, by Anna Grossnickle Hines. 1999. New York: Clarion.
    The Family Book, by Todd Parr. 2003. New York: Little, Brown
    In Daddy’s Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers, by Javaka Steptoe. 1997. New York: Lee and Low Books.
    Grandpa, by D. Bailey. 1994. Talk-About-Book series. Toronto, ON: Annick.
    If I were your father, by Park-Bridges, M. 1999. New York: Morrow Junior.
    Taken from NAEYC Children’s Books about Families
    And Children’s Books Featuring Fathers, Grandfathers, and Other Men in the Lives of Children
  • 18. "Fathers represent a potentially valuable and frequently untapped resource within the family. They bring their own style of nurturing to the parent/child relationship; one that adds diversity and richness to the child’s emotional, social, and physical development."
    Brett Chun, Father and LCSW
    Questions & Comments
  • 19. Resources
    Rosenberg, J. & Wilcox, W. “Fathers and their impact on children’s well-being.” Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, U.S. Children’s Bureau, 2006.
    National Association for the Education of Young Children. “Children’s books about families.”
    National Association for the Education of Young Children. “Children’s books featuring fathers, grandfathers, and other men in the lives of children.”
    National Association of School Psychologists. “Social skills: Promoting positive behavior, academic success, and school safety.” 2002.
    Mize, J. & Abell, E. “Encouraging social skills in young children: Tips teachers can share with parents.”
    “President Obama discusses the importance of fathers.” June 19, 2009.
    Texas Agri-Life Extension Service. “What fathers contribute to social development.”
    Katz, L.G. & McClellan, D.E. (1997). Fostering children’s social competence: The teacher’s role. NAEYC Publications.
    U.S. Department of Education & National Center for Fathering. “A call to commitment: Father’s involvement in children’s learning.” 2000.
    National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse. “Message from President Obama.”