21st Century Dad
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Non-Resident Fathers Can Still Make a Positive Difference

June 30th, 2008 . by 21st Century Dad
Father and Child

Photo: mrhayata

Before fatherhood, I used to look at my friend Dan and think, “oh cool. He only has to see his daughter every other weekend and on Wednesday nights.” After fatherhood, I think, “He only gets to see his daughter…”

Whatever the real numbers are, we see more single parents today. In such arrangements, the father’s role runs the gamut from total deadbeat to being as involved as possible.

Fatherhood is being redefined. Men are balancing traditional expectations and taking a more active role in parenting. This is true, even with non-resident fathers. These men have to make the most of their every-other-weekend and one night a week arrangement.

As a resident father, I enjoy the constant presence of my children, annoying teenage habits nonwithstanding. This affords me quantity and quality, but what about non-resident fathers? They too can offer the same, and some additional benefits.

According to Garret D. Evans and Kate Fogarty, non-resident fathers who are involved in their children’s lives still have a positive impact. These children:

  • tend to get higher grades than those without involved fathers.
  • seem to have better social skills. They can make friends more easily and handle difficult social situations better.
  • tend to have fewer behavioral problems. In fact, even when not living with their children and their children’s mother, fathers who were actively involved with their children kept them from getting involved in problem behaviors as teens
  • have fewer mental health problems as adults (especially true for daughters).

Fathers today recognize the benefits to their children and to themselves. This is still true for the non-resident father. He may even be more acutely aware of it due to the limited time he has with his children. He needs to make the most of every other weekend and one night a week.

Further Reading:

Dads, Be a Hero

Father Involvement After Divorce

Co-Parenting and Father Involvement

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21st Century Dad Featured on Discovering Dad Blog Carnival

May 5th, 2008 . by 21st Century Dad

Venice Carnival: photo by VanNorden

Photo: VanNorden

It’s about time I tapped in to blog carnivals. I just discovered Discovering Dad. I’ve read about them and finally decided to submit one of my articles to the one of my articles to the carnival.

Fellow Entre Card Users, Parenting Squad, Building Camelot, and DadThing are also featured.

Take a look. There are some other great blogs too!

Taking a Quality Time Time-Out With The Baby

May 2nd, 2008 . by 21st Century Dad

Twilli and Mommy model the new podaegiWhile I have some time between daytime contract jobs, I decided to spend most of the day yesterday with Twilli. We had a blast hanging out together all day long. I even helped out Renee by taking pictures of her new podegi baby carrier (pictured here). Yes, that can be considered working on the blog, but it was still time I spent with the baby. Today, it’s back to work full force!

Twilli is incredibly fun to be around right now. As she approaches the 9 month mark, her awakening to the world around her continues at an alarming rate. She is recognizing more within her surroundings. She is using her newfound, albeit limited, mobility at every chance she gets.

I learned a lot just by indulging a little in her. It felt great to spend an extended period of time with my daughter. I have to work a little harder today, but it was worth it.

Regardless of your schedule, make the time to be with your baby. I tell people all the time, “she’ll only be a baby once.”

The quality time I spend with Twilli is a spiritual and emotional boost. How many of you remember the old computer game F15 Strike Eagle? There was a glitch in the game that allowed you to continue flying even though you’ve run out of fuel. Pressing any of the number keys 1-9 and the “A” key (for afterburner) made the engines fire a short puff of propulsion. The smile, a moment of discovery, a squeal of delight as I make a goofy face, or a funny moment is like those little puffs of propulsion that I need just when I think I’m totally out of gas.

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