This video is a four minute video in appropriate child development. Play, music, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, good nutrition, imagination, the list goes on. This dad does a fantastic job with his kid and gets it all cleaned up before mom comes home (while he teaches his son to clean up) Rough and tumble play, chase, manipulating space, this is a great day for a kid and it looks like dad has done it more than once.
Let me know what you notice about this video.
It can be a challenge to end a long day, come home and be a good listener to your kids. However, it is one of the most important things you can do. You show them respect and honor their ideas and thoughts and you learn a lot. (more than you may want to know at times!) I have always said that I was not strong enough to have daughters, listening to girls at almost any age can be tough on a dad. This child is precious and I am certain that when she is thirteen, her conversations with dad may sound very similar to this one to him. But she is a doll and her “conversation” is a hoot. Watch how she locks in on dad and watch how she wants to connect to him. Also, watch how he gives her the attention she seeks from him. Nodding and understanding. She makes sure she is heard and I am sure she will be a stronger young woman in the days to come because of this bond with her dad. If he can survive these conversatons……..
Watch these twins as they watch and interact with their dad. It is amazing how they “exercise” with him and stop when he stops. Too many times fathers, families, and early childhood programs miss the importance of dad’s involvement and influence on his kids. There is a chance that these twins might respond to the mom the same way but it has been my experience that children see mom differently and interact with them differently as well. This is not from enculturation nor is it from some oppressive patriarchal condition. Kids know the difference in moms and dads better than we do and they seek each parent for different relationships. You will definitely see this video in our upcoming staff trainings. It is a TEXTBOOK example of how dads can influence even very young children with the way they interact.
We work with lots of Strong Fathers and we meet men who have had amazing challenges and many who have met and conquered those challenges. This performance of slam poetry eloquently speaks to the joys and challenges of fatherhood. Thanks to our partners at Anthem North Texas for exposing us to this great piece.
In the Spring our school events begin to wind down just like school does. However, about the time we are finishing up our school programs we have to begin for conference season. I love to speak at conferences for several reasons. First, if you know me you know I just love to talk in front of people, especially about dads and kids. Secondly, I love meeting other professionals who are trying to meet the same goals of improving child outcomes. As well, working at these conferences is not only how we get the next year of business but it is also how we spread the word about the importance of working with dads. It is our chance to make a difference in communities, schools, and homes where we may never work or visit.
I look at every evaluation from every program we do from schools to national conferences. I am very proud of the work we do but we are blessed to be working in a field that makes it easy for us to be good at it. We also have put in the miles to prove we know how to do the work and make a difference. We have worked face to face with over 100,000 fathers who impact over 300,000 kids. We don’t just talk about it, we are doing it every day. If you talk to anyone else in the fatherhood field ask them how many fathers they work with each week. Many of these experts have not worked with fathers for any length of time and may not have run the programs they promote. Our model works for you because it has worked for us because we are always working it. See how that works?
Here is what people have said about our programs……
As the father of two boys I never did much sewing on toys. However, I have hot glued wheels back onto axles, popped a lot of arms and legs back into superhero sockets, and tried to fix my share of electronics. Now that I have two teenage boys I find myself fixing more computer problems, helping with video projects, and talking more about girls and peer pressure than anything. I turned 44 this week (I know, I really look like I am 58) and I still have need of my father fixing things from time to time. It is our job, it is our responsibility, and I will always think of it as a privilege.
Here is a great example from our friends over at www.fatherhood.gov.