Fathers matter. They have a huge impact on the lives of their children.
When fathers are involved, kids do better in school. They’re more likely to stay out of trouble. They’re more likely to have strong, positive relationships with their peers and partners — and with their own kids, someday.
And having a child will transform your life too. A lot of dads say that being a father is the most important thing they’ve ever done.
The Office of Early Childhood (OEC) believes deeply in giving fathers and families the support they need to thrive.
Kids who have an involved father are
Check out resources for dads
- The National Center for Fathering has lots of information on its website. Explore the resources on Fathers.com.
- Connecticut has a statewide initiative to help fathers stay involved in the lives of their children. Read about the Connecticut Fatherhood Initiative.
- Get legal support. If you’re having issues with custody or support, check out CTLawHelp.org.
Becoming a father
When your partner is pregnant, you might feel a little useless. But don’t spend those 9 months waiting around. The more involved you are now, the more connected you’ll be with your baby when they’re born.
1. Check out your child care options. If you and your partner work, you’re going to need child care. Start looking early. Use the 2-1-1 Child Care online search tool to find options and then visit a few.
2. Find a doctor for your baby. Have a doctor you trust lined up when your baby is born. Ask friends or family for recommendations. You can also dial 2-1-1 to get names or look up “pediatrics” on the 2-1-1 website.
3. Go with your partner to her check-ups. You’ll learn a lot by going along — and you can also help her out by asking questions and taking notes.
4. Get tips from a parenting coach. OEC has home visiting programs that can send a child care expert to meet with you at home. They can answer questions about fatherhood, teach you new skills, and connect you with other support. Find a home visiting program in your area.
5. Do some household projects. Assemble that crib or bouncy chair. Give the bedroom a fresh coat of paint. Lots of guys like doing this sort of thing anyway — and it’s a way to make you feel more involved.
6. Get support. Talking to new and soon-to-be dads can be a big help. JEN RECOMMENDATIONS FOR A RESOURCE HERE? 211?
7. Go easy on yourself. Feeling stressed about becoming a dad? Of course you are. Worried you don’t feel ready to be a father? Nobody does. It’s a role you grow into. Remember that you don’t need to be perfect. You don’t need to compare yourself to other dads. The most important thing is to be available — to just be there for your partner and your baby.
Have questions? Want to suggest new resources? Let us know. Email us at XXX@ct.gov.
Header image: “unconditional love ~” by miksalac is licensed under CC BY 2.0.