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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Loving and supportive dads matter

  • Many children are fortunate enough to have a loving, involved dad. One who nurtures their spirit, teaches through new and exciting experiences and offers unconditional love with special time on a consistent basis.
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  • Many children are fortunate enough to have a loving, involved dad. One who nurtures their spirit, teaches through new and exciting experiences and offers unconditional love with special time on a consistent basis.
    Many are not.
    The National Fatherhood Initiative study reports that children with an involved father have a decreased risk of dropping out of school, juvenile delinquency, drug use and teenage pregnancy.
    Fathers are just one of the significant males in a child's life who are supposed to show an active interest, participate and provide a positive influence. Others can include uncles, close family friends, grandfathers, Big Brothers, a step-dad or others who are dedicated to make a positive, lasting impact.
    You may be aware of President Barack Obama's campaign, "Take time to be a dad today."
    Visit www.fatherhood.gov/pledge to take the fatherhood pledge, which promotes responsible fatherhood and the healthy families initiative. Obama suggests that, "Even the smallest moments can have the biggest impact in a child's life."
    His suggestions include, "Start a ritual, read a bedtime story, or give a hug when you first come in the door."
    Be affectionate. Although some may feel uncomfortable giving physical affection, know that children need a reassuring touch.
    With or without financial means, you can provide the emotional support your child needs and help to improve his opportunities for success. Eight locations across the country now offer a new program called Right Path for Fathers Partnership Employment Program, which is a federally funded initiative.
    Get involved with your child. Play card games, ride bikes, visit a playground. Teach the foundations of baseball, or just cuddle and read a book together. Check out Lowe's or Home Depot for woodworking weekends. Go for a flashlight walk or stargaze under the night sky. Many other suggestions and resources are available at www.fatherhood.org.
    Whether or not your own experience included a loving and supportive dad, you can be the one to make a difference in a child's life. Provide the foundation for emotional, social and academic success. What are the barriers that are stopping you from being the best dad ever?
    Make the commitment to spend just 10 minutes a day, and get out and play.
    Diana Boggia, M.Ed., is a parenting coach who lives in Stark County, Ohio. She is author of "Parenting with a Purpose." Send your child-rearing questions to FamilyMatters@cantonrep.com or The Repository, c/o Family Matters, 500 Market Ave. S, Canton, OH 44702. Find parenting resources at her website, www.yourperfectchild.com.
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