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A Father's Day Is Every Day

PHOTO: Getting involved and staying involved in children's lives is what sets a "good dad" apart from the crowd. Photo credit: iStockphoto.com.
PHOTO: Getting involved and staying involved in children's lives is what sets a "good dad" apart from the crowd. Photo credit: iStockphoto.com.
June 17, 2013

LOS ANGELES - Now that Californians have celebrated Father's Day, children's experts say it's important to recognize the role dads play in a young child's life every day of the year.

According to Francisco Oaxaca, director of public affairs with First 5 LA, it's a common understanding that children should primarily be cared for by mothers, but fathers are just as well equipped to be effective parents.

"There's a quite a bit of research that's come out that shows that an active and involved father can have a really positive impact on a young child's physical, behavioral and emotional development," he said.

He said children who have an involved father or male caregiver are more likely to be emotionally secure, have better social connections and greater career success. Yet, nearly half of fathers surveyed by First 5 LA feel they aren't spending enough time with their children.

He said dads can go to the website ReadySetGrowLA.org for some ideas.

"Dads and other male caregivers can visit and really get a better idea what kind of things they can do with their young children to remain involved and active in their lives," Oaxaca stated.

Ted Hendricks is a father who created a training DVD and workshop called "Daddy's Tool Box" to help give men the skill set they need to succeed at parenting. According to Hendricks, dad's role is important 364 days a year because kids model how they're going to act based on their parents.

"If there's no dad involved, it's very difficult for a young boy or young girl to really understand, 'What is my role, how do I act, how do I treat others,' you know, 'Where's my example?' And it makes the job of the other parent, you know, that much more complicated," Hendricks said.

He said there are three major steps to becoming a better dad: get involved in your child's life early, stay involved in your child's life, and be proud to be a dad.

More information is at First5LA.org.


Lori Abbott, Public News Service - CA