Why Fathers Are Such a Necessary Component in the Raising of Their Children.

The first year of a child's life is the most crucial time for Dad's to be present and loving and hugging his child. According to clinicians in the first year of birth babies relate to behaviors not language.

The most important thing a father can do for his children is to develop a strong relationship with their mother and with his children. Relationship is what separates the strong family from the dysfunctional family. A child needs a strong relationship with his/her father far more than he/she needs their father's resources.

Children need to have boundaries set by their father in order to know he cares. Father's need not be their child's best friend, particularly if it affects his ability to dole out punishment when appropriate. A father needs to be present at his children's extra-curricular activities. Doing so further strengthens the bond of their relationship and re-affirms the child of dad's support. Dad's need to assure their children that regardless of what error they may make, they need to come to him first: "I may not condone what you did, but you will have my unconditional love regardless. Please don't let me learn about an incident from another person."

When a father communicates with his children (communication does not equal lecture and communication implies two or more people engaged in conversation) they develop a stronger character and self-esteem. Studies have shown that when the father communicate effectively and accompanies his children to church they are much more likely to continue attending church as adults.

Positive feedback from a dad makes a huge difference. Example?Many young men in prison were told repeatedly by their dad that they were losers and would end up in jail someday. Conversely many successful athletes and professionals were constantly reminded of how good they were doing, what great potential they had and I'm here to help you be the best you can be?always.

I am not a sociologist or a clinician but I have 34 years of experience working with teens and pre-teens as a coach, teacher and mentor. I have successfully applied what I preach with my own children, Ann Marie (22, a teacher) and Anthony (16, an academic/athlete and mentor) who are my co-authors on the subject. We have spoken publicly at retreats, schools and churches. For more info visit our web site www.lunchbagnotes.com or call us at 818.991.8633.

Ann Marie is an Author and Speaker along with her dad, Al and brother, Anthony, who is a senior at Agoura Hills High School in Agoura Hills, CA. She is also a first time teacher; she will be teaching the 6th grade at St. Jude's Catholic School in Westlake Village, CA.

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