Parenting

Fathers nurture differently than mothers. According to Dr. Kyle Pruitt, author of “FatherNeed”, it is precisely this difference that make children’s developmental experiences strong and rich. Too often, mothers are viewed and sometimes treated as being naturally the “better” parent. It’s important for both parents, as well as other family members, to keep in mind that fathers do not have to nurture or parent “just like mom” to be safe, effective and successful parents for their kids. However, fathers do benefit from discussing and exploring parenting practices, styles, strategies and “tips and tricks” with other fathers. These agencies offer various types of supports for men to become the father that they desire to be, with some including services or referrals for housing, employment, child support and legal issues or needs:

Beech Acres Parenting Center “Fathers are a Factor”
6881 Beechmont Avenue
Cincinnati, Ohio 45230
513-231-8782
https://beechacres.org/classes-networks/dads/

The Talbert House Fatherhood Project
4531 Reading Road
Cincinnati, Ohio 45226
513-961-3292
https://www.talberthouse.org/help/community-care-3/

Community Action Agency Cincinnati/Hamilton County
Head Start & Early Head Start Male Involvement
1740 Langdon Farm Road
Cincinnati, Ohio 45227
513-569-1840
https://cincy-caa-org.presencehost.net/

Expectant and New Dads

Men come into or arrive at fatherhood in a variety of ways. Whether single, adopting, married, foster caring or by other means, men who are fathers of newborns, infants or very young children are can have questions or concerns that accompany the joy, pride, sense of responsibility and commitment that they feel. If that describes you, check out these programs to see if one or more are a good fit for your situation and needs:

Daddy Boot Camp
University Hospital Medical Center
Cost: $20 per person, $15 for UC Health employees
Join veteran dads (and their babies), to learn how they made it through the first months of parenthood and resurfaced as confident, on-the-job fathers. Learn how to handle a baby, find out about issues you didn’t know were important and how to let go of issues you thought were. In this men-only environment, no question is stupid and no topic off limits.
Dads and dads-to-be will discuss issues including:
• Changes in new mom
• Handling a newborn
• Finding work/home balance
• Introducing pets to baby
• Safety issues
• Working and being a dad
• Your relationship with mom
• Feeding and changing
• How to calm a crying baby
• Handling parents and in-laws
• Breastfeeding
And anything else on your mind!
https://uchealth.com/womens-health/childbirth-education-classes/

Every Child Succeeds
Pregnant or a new parent? You are not alone.
Every Child Succeeds will be there every step of the way during the important first 1000 days of your child’s life. From prenatal to birth and until your child goes to preschool, an experienced home visitor will support you to be the best parent you can be.
https://www.everychildsucceeds.org/

Ages and Stages of Child Development

Being a great father is a goal or aspiration for all men who have children. Sometimes it’s what we don’t know that can hinder our best efforts. Understanding more from science and research about how children grow and develop can provided dads with ideas and strategies that add to the instincts and knowledge they already possess. While every dad and child are unique, fathers and their children can benefit from information about what kids need for optimal healthy growth. The links below are to websites that have a wealth of great information to help dads prepare their children for learning and life.

Pathways
https://pathways.org/

Center for Disease Control and Prevention
https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/index.html

Zero to Three
https://www.zerotothree.org/espanol/ages-and-stages

Understood for Learning and Attention Issues
https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/signs-symptoms/developmental-milestones/developmental-milestones-from-birth-to-age-1

Co-Parenting

When parents are raising a child together in the same household there are challenges and disagreements that go along with the good and wonderful times. When a relationship or marriage has ended, and the parents are no longer romantically or intimately involved, the chances of tension, disagreements and lack of understanding can increase. Whether parents are together or living apart, children thrive when both parents are focused on their needs. If parents are no longer together, co-parenting is a great way to accomplish this goal. To effectively co-parent, both parents must make the transition to a business-like relationship that’s focused exclusively on the child. While not always easy, this can be accomplished. Often, but not always, when the relationship between parents end, it’s the dad who is likely to get less time with his children. If this is or becomes the case, it’s important for dads to make the most of the time that they have with their kids. Research has consistently shown that the quality of the time dads spend with his kids is much more important than the quantity of the time. Fatherhood is a very powerful and necessary ingredient to ensure that children are prepared for success in life. Dads and moms who are no longer together as a couple would do well to look at the resources here to help them be the type of co-parents that their children need:

Co-Parenting Communication Guide
https://www.afccnet.org/Portals/0/PDF/AzAFCC%20Coparenting%20Communication%20Guide.pdf

Kids In the Middle
https://www.kidsinthemiddle.org/tips/tips-for-co-parenting/

Good Therapy
https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/co-parenting-tips-when-you-cant-stand-your-ex-0417134

The Alliance for Early childhood
http://www.theallianceforec.org/library.php?c=6&news=106

Father’s Health & Well-being

With so much of your attention and effort on being a good dad and providing for your children, it can be easy to forget that your personal health and well-being is a great asset to you and to your kids as well. Striving for optimal personal health enables you to get the most out of being a father. When your children see you taking good care of yourself, it sends powerful messages that health matters, and serves as a model for them to take up good personal health practices when they reach adulthood. Physical, mental, psychological, spiritual and emotional wellbeing are all areas that need your attention from time to time. So dads, start from where you are, use what you have and do what you can to take the best care of yourself as your time and other resources allow. Look at some of the links below to get or keep you going on your health journey:

University of Pennsylvania – Penn Medicine
https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2018/june/cheat-sheet-for-mens-health

City of Cincinnati Health Department
https://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/health/cincinnati-health-department-divisions1/men-s-health1/

Center for Closing the Health Gap
https://closingthehealthgap.org/what-we-do/wellness-series/

Interact for Health
https://www.interactforhealth.org/reducing-tobacco-use/

https://www.interactforhealth.org/addressing-the-opioid-epidemic/

https://www.interactforhealth.org/school-based-health-centers/

Mom’s and Babies Health

Fathers have a role to play in ensuring that mothers and babies are healthy and thriving. Of critical importance, fathers can have direct influence on mom’s health and healthy behaviors during pregnancy and on the health of the newborn child. In Hamilton County, our infant mortality rate has long exceeded the national average. Babies who are born alive but die (for any reason) before their first birthday define a community’s infant mortality rate. There are three main causes of infant death: birth defects, unsafe sleep and preterm birth. However, thanks to efforts like Cradle Cincinnati, in the past five years, fewer babies died in Hamilton county than ever before; yet we still rank among the worst 10% for infant mortality in the country. African American women, regardless of socioeconomic status, are two to four times more likely to experience infant loss. It is our duty as men and fathers to become educated and involved in this issue. Take time to look at and learn from the sites below to increase your understanding of this important issue. Contact the organizations below or the Fatherhood Collaborative of Hamilton County to learn more about what fathers can do to help improve birth outcomes for our community’s families.

City of Cincinnati Health Department
https://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/health/cincinnati-health-department-divisions1/fetal-infant-mortality/

Cradle Cincinnati
https://www.cradlecincinnati.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/CC-2017-Annual-Report-Web.pdf

https://www.cradlecincinnati.org/safesleep/

Hamilton County Public Health
https://www.hamiltoncountyhealth.org/services/for-residents/programs/community-health-services-disease-prevention/maternal-newborn-health/

Ohio Department of Health
https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/know-our-programs/maternal-child-health-program/safe-sleep/

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/healthy-people-in-action/story/partnering-to-reduce-infant-mortality-in-cincinnati