Fathers play an extremely important role in raising children. Many studies have shown that children who grow up with involved fathers tend to have increased self-esteem, be more adaptable, do better in school and become better problem solvers.
Touch and interaction are two of the main components supporting healthy brain development in infants and children. Fathers are encouraged to hold their baby as much as possible, as well as begin interacting with them as soon as possible, such as reading and talking to them. Though this is often considered primarily the mother’s role, the more fathers get involved in holding and consoling the infant, the more confident and successful they become with this aspect of parenthood.
It is also important for men to remember to balance their roles as a father and a husband. Spouses must provide each other with social support, as well as parenting support, as each will most likely have different approaches to parenthood—which often further increases a child’s adaptability throughout different life experiences.
Becoming educated on what to expect and how to support the family in all aspects is the best way for men to prepare for fatherhood. Cone Health Women’s Hospital understands the importance of educating men in the community about parenthood and has partnered with the Children’s Home Society of North Carolina to offer the Fathers Matter series, which covers a variety of topics, from identifying and teaching values to child safety.
The next Fathers Matter series begins Tuesday, August 27th from 6:30-8:00 pm at Women’s Hospital Education Center. The class is free and registration is not required. For more details, call (336) 333-6890 ext. 407.
Women’s Hospital also offers a Daddy Boot Camp program which teaches dads-to-be how to hold, comfort, diaper, swaddle and play with their infant. To learn more and to register, visit conehealth.com or call (336) 832-6682.
Randy Wall is a fatherhood educator for Children’s Home Society of North Carolina, and leads the Fathers Matter series at Cone Health Women’s Hospital. Wall received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Guilford College in 1995. He has been a fatherhood educator for the past five years.