As LSS continues to observe National Child Abuse Prevention Month, I’ve learned a number of surprising factors contributing to child abuse. The National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) quotes a study revealing a link between the absence of a biological father and increased risk of child abuse. Additionally, positive father involvement contributes to lower risk of maternal physical abuse.
While these statistics relate specifically to involvement of the biological father, it’s not difficult to see that this positive impact applies to foster fathers and adoptive fathers as well. Consider the stories of the Spigner family and the Farmer family. Posted on the DadTalk Blog, hosted by the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC), these stories readily illustrate the positive impact made by a willing, involved father.
- Respect your children’s mother
- Spend time with your children
- Earn the right to be heard
- Discipline with love
- Be a role model
- Be a teacher
- Eat together as a family
- Read to your children
- Show affection
- Realize that a father’s job is never done
Aside from helping protect your child from abuse, taking and remembering these simple steps increase your child’s ability to succeed in school, avoid behavioral problems, and grow up with greater self-esteem and well-being. For more information about positive fatherhood, visit the NFI or NRFC websites.
Additionally, for information on mentoring a fatherless child, or even another dad, check out the NFI’s Double Duty Dad program.