Being a dad is a big job.
It’s always been an important job, but it seems even more important today. Not only do working moms really need dads to be more involved with child-rearing, but research consistently is showing that a father’s love and attention makes a huge difference in children developing into healthy, happy adults.
Just in time for Fathers Day, a series of activities scheduled in Lawrence this week is aimed at helping local fathers embrace their important role.
A number of events and declarations sponsored by Dads of Douglas County will lead up to a community festival Saturday at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with games, contests, food and a motorcycle display.
Dads of Douglas County, a new support group, is one of several ongoing local efforts for fathers. Classes on “Conscious Fathering” are being offered at least monthly and a “Daddy & Me” play group has been formed. More information on Dads of Douglas County is available at WellCommons.com.
Offering support and advice to one another may come more naturally for moms, but it’s good that dads are giving it a try. Some dads are real naturals, but others may not feel they’re getting the hang of it. Even those who are doing a good job can gain confidence in their fathering skills by interacting with other men facing the same issues and challenges.
In Monday’s Journal-World, Rich Minder, one of the Dads of Douglas County organizers, cited some examples of why involved fathers are so important to children. They help bring financial stability to a family, but they also contribute to the physical and emotional well being of their children. Just being there helps children, but having a good relationship with those children helps even more. Minder cited research at Columbia University that found children living in two-parent households, were 68 percent more likely to smoke, drink or use drugs if they had a poor relationship with their father.
Many other benefits of fatherhood can be found at www.fatherhood.gov, the website for the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse, which urges fathers to “Take time to be a dad today.”
Many fathers will tell you that being a dad is the most important role they have played in their life. It’s nice to see that role recognized and supported through local and national initiatives.