I’m sure that you have all heard the statement, “they don’t have a manual that comes with your child when they are born on how to be a parent”. There still isn’t a manual, but there are some cheat sheets. The NRFC’s Fatherhood Buzz Tip cards can be found online, and may be at your local barbershop. Barbershops are safe havens where men gather to get a haircut and talk about life’s events. What are the tips? They are simple and straightforward.
- Spend time with your children. Each moment can create positive memories.
- Always keep your promises. It builds and maintains trust with your children.
- Celebrate and praise your children’s accomplishments. It will increase their confidence and encourage them to keep trying.
- Tell both your sons and daughters that you love them. Not just for what they do. But for whom they are.
Spend time…Sometimes as parents we don’t realize how important spending time with our children is. Little moments mean a lot. My father was a Union Pacific Railroad waiter. The family used to see him off at the front door when he was going out on the road. At eight years of age Daddy always let me carry his suitcase. After kissing my mother, older sister and younger brother good bye he would say to me, “Take care of everybody. You are the man of the house.” Looking back on it now I realize that Daddy did not consider me to be a man. But for that brief period in time he taught me about what a man is supposed to do to keep his family safe. Those words have stayed with me for a lifetime.
Keep your promises…One of the first things that fathers can teach their child is how to trust. An infant develops trust when his cries are met with a clean diaper, a bottle or by holding her securely in her father’s arms. Children thrive on consistency. Continue to be there for them to meet their needs. Keeping your promises completes the bridge between the development of trust to a child with integrity.
Praise your child for their accomplishments. If you tell her she is smart, pretty, good, kind and trustworthy, they will believe it themselves. Why? Because Daddy said so! It will give them the courage to persevere when life throws them a curve.
Always tell your sons and daughters that you love them. A father’s demonstration of love for his daughter will keep them from looking for love in all the wrong places when they get older. Dads, please remember this. Showing your son affection and telling him you love him will not make him soft. Those three words are money in the bank that they can draw from to enrich their lives and those close to them.
There really isn’t a manual that comes with the birth of your child. But, the Fatherhood Buzz Tips for Fathers helps to lay the foundation… and your time, promises, praise and love are the building blocks for their future.
Dr. Ronald Banks, Project Fatherhood, Children’s Institute.
Our views on money management were modeled by our parents. Attitudes and fears are attributable to lessons that we learned or didn’t learn growing-up. Before teaching your children about finances, it is important to explore and understand your relationship with money. Understanding your own emotional relationship with it will help you to avoid passing on bad habits. Fatherhood Buzz has listed four tips for teaching your children money management. They are: keep a budget; track expenses; check credit scores; and start saving.
Have you ever tried and failed to keep a budget? Most of us have. The key is to make it realistic. An unrealistic budget is doomed to failure. If your budget is too restrictive, you will not follow it. When planning your budget, it is important to make a list of essential items. It is also important to teach your children to reward themselves on occasion. Going “cold turkey” on pleasurable purchases often leads to failure. Creating a realistic budget and following it, will help you to accomplish your financial goals whether it’s eliminating debt, building your savings or making a large purchase.
Track all your expenses. It will help you see where you spend your money. It’s hard to know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been.
Did you know that it’s free to check your credit score once a year? Checking credit scores ensures that you are aware of all your debt and can correct any errors. Teach your children that bad credit scores can affect everything from getting a job to renting an apartment or buying a house.
Finally, create a “rainy day” fund or savings account by saving even a small amount of your check every pay day. Teach your children to “pay themselves first” by making regular deposits into your savings account. When I was a boy, my uncle encouraged me to save a quarter every day. I only did it for a short period of time, but can you imagine how much money your child would have by eighteen by saving a quarter every day? For children, even saving a smaller amount each day is a great practice.
Implementing these tips and passing them on to your children will create financial practices discipline that will pay dividends for your children. Managing money well is vital to their future.
Dr. Ronald Banks, Project Fatherhood, Children’s Institute.
Recent Studies reveal that over 24 million children in the United States living apart from their biological fathers are two to three times more likely to be poor, abuse drugs and alcohol, experience emotional, health, behavioral and education problems, and engage in criminal activity.
How are American communities and organizations responding?
In response, the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NFRC) has been partnering with communities and organizations across the nation through Fatherhood Buzz, an initiative to support barbershops in connecting dads with local resources to help build strong families.
In the South Bronx, the Osborne Association’s Fatherhood Initiative, a program that works with formerly incarcerated fathers and their children, has partnered with Fatherhood Buzz to give resources and tips for parenting to their participants.
What kinds of tips for parenting do they teach?
- Spend time with your child, use every moment with your child to create positive memories
- Keep your promises that you made to your child, this builds trust between you and your child
- Celebrate your child’s accomplishments, praising your child gives them confidence and encourages them to keep trying to pursue what is right
- Consistently tell your sons and daughters that you love them, remind them that you love them for who they are, not for what they have done
Osborne’s Fatherhood Initiative not only teaches these Fatherhood Buzz Tips in the classroom, but they provide fathers the opportunity to use these tips by attending special events with their children. Recently, Osborne’s Fatherhood Initiative organized and provided for their participants and their children to attend a Yankee’s game, visit the New York Aquarium, and explore the Bronx Zoo. These events provided an avenue for fathers to create special memories and build trust with their child(ren).
Interested in Fatherhood Buzz tips you could use at home with your child?
Creating special moments with your children helps strengthen your relationship, improve communication, and improve their self-esteem. Spending quality time together doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are some ideas to get started!
- Tell your favorite childhood stories to your children
- Read aloud to your child
- Share old photos of yourself
- Prepare a family meal together
- Turn off the TV and play a board game together
- Do an outside activity with your children, like a nature walk, gardening, or bike riding
- Do an arts and crafts project, like creating a family album or draw pictures
For more information regarding your questions about parenting and fatherhood in the United States, check out our Tips for Parenting, or visit us at fatherhood.gov!
Fatherhood Buzz - Back to School Initiative: Effective Strategies for Increasing Father Involvement in Schools
Thursday August 23, 2012 - 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM (EASTERN)
National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC) is providing a technical assistance webinar for all responsible fatherhood practitioners, including current OFA grantees, and other interested stakeholders. The webinar will provide ideas and resources to help increase father involvement in schools and their children’s education. Information will be provided on various initiatives that have helped engage fathers and father figures, inspire children, reduce bullying, and generally improve the educational environment in order that men may become more involved in the lives of their children.
Goals of Webinar: After this training webinar, participants will improve their knowledge and understanding of:
- The importance and impact of father involvement in schools.
- Strategies that fatherhood practitioners can use to engage with local schools and school districts in order to increase father involvement in schools and improve outcomes for children.
- Resources and tips for fathers to help them increase their involvement in schools and their children’s education.
Moderator: Dennis Bega, Acting National Director of Regional Operations, Office of Communications and Outreach, US Department of Education
- J. Michael Hall, President and Founder, Strong Fathers - Strong Families
- Betsy Landers, President, National Parent Teacher Association (PTA)
- Philip Jackson, Founder and Executive Director, The Black Star Project
Facilitator: Patrick Patterson, Manager, National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse
Visit our Webinar section for details on how to join the webinar!
It’s a great time to be a dad.
Being a dad is so important today because it’s an opportunity to empower the next generation of men and women to conquer whatever challenges may face them. It’s an opportunity to help shape their future.
When fathers aren’t a part of their lives, kids are more likely to get involved in harmful and destructive activities like drug use and crime. On the other hand, giving children the paternal support they need helps them grow into confident, capable and healthy men and women.
All children deserve solid father figures in their lives, but far too many don’t have them. President Obama, whose own father was absent for much of his childhood, understands that. That’s why he created the Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative to celebrate fatherhood and create meaningful opportunities for fathers and children – and adult mentors and young mentees – to connect.
Children aren’t the only ones who reap the benefits of these relationships; fatherhood is one of the most inspiring things in life. Watching my daughters grow into responsible, driven and happy women has been an indescribable joy.
It has also been great to share my passion for the environment with them. From their earliest days, we enjoyed the “great outdoors” whenever we had a chance – and we still do. But I also showed them the importance of protecting the natural resources that surround us by doing things like recycling and cutting back on energy use. These are things that are still a part of their lives today.
June is America’s Great Outdoors Month, and finding creative ways to enjoy the open, outdoor spaces and keep them healthy and vibrant can be a great opportunity to bond with your son, daughter or mentee – and improve your community at the same time. Check out the outdoor activities aimed at protecting the environment on EPA’s website for some ideas. We would love to hear about some of your outdoor dad experiences this summer, so please share your stories by emailing us at email@example.com or tweeting, @EPAgov using #outdoordad.
However you choose to spend your time, I encourage you to continue making fatherhood or mentoring a priority in your life. Take the President’s Fatherhood Pledge, and do your part to help shape the next generation of happy, healthy Americans.
Bob Perciasepe is Deputy Administrator at the US Environmental Protection Agency
As families across the country make plans to celebrate Father’s Day this weekend, the Administration is releasing Promoting Responsible Fatherhood, a report that describes the Administration’s long-standing commitment to encourage all fathers to take responsibility for their children’s intellectual, emotional and financial well-being.
The report being released today looks back at what we’ve been able to accomplish to promote responsible fatherhood, and looks forward to what more we can do, together, to foster healthy families.
Working for President Obama is an incredible privilege, but my greatest honor is to be the proud father of three beautiful children. This week, I was reminded again of the enormous joy of fatherhood as I watched my eldest son graduate from high school. It was by far one the most fulfilling moments of my life. My wife, our six-year-old daughter, and I sat in the audience, feeling so blessed and so happy to witness his accomplishment. My son: the graduate. He’s never looked better, and I’ve never been prouder.
Like many other parents who work extremely demanding jobs, I know that special moments like graduations, Saturday morning soccer games, and dance recitals are so precious. And it’s amazing how those moments slip by so quickly. As I watched the graduation ceremony, it seemed like it was just yesterday that I held my eldest son in my arms for the first time. I didn’t know where his little life would lead, but I knew that I would love him unconditionally and try my hardest to walk him through those tough life lessons, as my mom and my adopted dad did for me.
President Obama knows the vital role that fathers play in the lives of our children. As a dad of two beautiful young girls and as a son growing up without the presence of his father, the President recognizes that the most important, most challenging, and most fulfilling job he’ll ever have is to be Sasha and Malia’s dad.
President Obama reminds us that we all have a stake in forging stronger bonds between fathers and their children. Children don’t need us to be superheroes; they just need us to be active in their lives, to love them, and to set a good example.
That’s why for the past three years, President Obama has led the President’s Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative, a multi-year effort to help dads connect to their families and to raise awareness about responsible fatherhood. We also recently released a Promoting Responsible Fatherhood report, which looks back on what we’ve accomplished to promote fatherhood, and looks forward on how we can build on that foundation.
In that spirit, President Obama’s Fatherhood & Mentoring Initiative and the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse are excited to kick off the “Fatherhood Buzz.” It’s an program that will work with barbershops to connect dads with local resources to help build stronger families. Every couple months, dads and their barbers participating in the initiative will get a different “buzz” topic to discuss at the barbershop.
Today, at this make-or-break moment for working Americans, economic stability and getting good jobs are at the top of our priority list. So, this quarter, the “buzz” is all about financial literacy and job training. Because it’s up to us to work hard to secure our families and plan for the future, for us and for our kids.
At the end of the day, dads have a responsibility to give parenting our best effort. That means showing up and making the right decisions each day to be a good father. Even if you weren’t the best dad in the past, today is a new day and the President’s Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative is just one of the many programs out there that can help.
I’m certainly not the perfect father. I’ve missed quite a few dinners and special occasions because of work, but my family is always my top priority. When I truly reflect on all that I have done in my life, nothing can compare to the satisfaction I feel when I spend time with my 15-year-old autistic son at the park, read a bedtime story to my little girl, or watch my oldest son prepare to go to college. That pride is a feeling that many dads know well, and it’s enough to keep you going through all the tough times that life may bring.
And let’s remember that parenting can be a great partnership. So, in honor of my beautiful and remarkable wife, I can’t think of a better gift this Father’s Day than the love and support she has given me, along with my three amazing children-I can’t thank them enough.
Michael Strautmanis is Deputy Assistant to President Obama and Counselor for Strategic engagement to Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett. Strautmanis is also a proud dad of three children and celebrates his 20th wedding anniversary in August.
Repost from The White House Blog
President Obama celebrated Father’s Day a little early with four dads at Kenny’s Barbeque Smokehouse in Northeast Washington, DC. The four fathers, two active duty members of the military and two long-time local barbers from Mason’s Barbershop, talked about the rewards and challenges of fatherhood as well as the joy and anxiety fathers experience watching their children grow up.
President Barack Obama talks with four fathers participating in the the new HHS "Fatherhood Buzz" campaign, as they wait for their lunch at Kenny’s BBQ Smokehouse in Washington, D.C., June 13, 2012. Joining the President, from left, are: Nurney Mason; 1st Lieutenant William Edwards of the U.S. Army; Otis Gamble; and CPT Joubert Paulino of the U.S Army. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
The President talked about his support for military families along with the First Lady and Dr. Jill Biden through Joining Forces. The President also discussed “Fatherhood Buzz,” a new initiative in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services designed to reach out to dads with positive information through their barbers and barber shops, as part of the Administration’s longstanding Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative. Each quarter will feature a different “buzz” topic – the topic for the first quarter is financial literacy and job training. The initiative is taking place across the country this weekend, including at Mason’s Barber Shop on H Street Northeast in Washington, DC. Nurney Mason, who joined the President for lunch today, has operated Mason’s Barber shop for over 51 years.
Meet the four dads who had lunch with President Obama yesterday to discuss fatherhood
1st Lieutenant William (Bill) Edwards of the U.S. Army is currently based at Fort Jackson in South Carolina where he lives with his wife of 13 years, Esther, and their four children. Lt. Edwards was recently honored by the National Fatherhood Initiative with the 2012 Military Fatherhood Award. He was deployed with the 3rd Infantry Division Band in 2007-2008 for 14 months in Iraq. While he was deployed, he sent a flag that had flown over Camp Victory headquarters in Iraq to his daughter's preschool as a reminder of how much he cared about his family.
Captain Joubert Paulino of the U.S. Army is currently based at Fort Meade in Maryland along with his wife of 16 years, Ginamarie, and their two children Jonah, age 6, and Julia, age 4. CPT Paulino uses his will for adventure to stay connected with his children. For example, he involves his children in the selection process of states or countries where they would like to start an adventure or experience of a lifetime. CPT. Paulino continuously travels for his specialized emergency response team, and serves his country through biological and nuclear defense; however, CPT Paulino remains very involved in his son Jonah's Tiger Scout troop.
Nurney Mason operated Mason’s Barber Shop on H Street Northeast in Washington, D.C. for over 51 years and is one of the longest-standing business owners in the city. Nurney also cuts hair at the U.S. House of Representatives when he’s not managing his shop on H Street. Nurney has been married for over 30 years and has 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He co-owns Mason’s Barber Shop with his son, Robbie. Mason’s Barber Shop is a participant in the “Fatherhood Buzz” campaign.
Otis “Big O” Gamble is still an active barber at Mason’s Barber Shop, a participant in the “Fatherhood Buzz” imitative through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Nurney Mason, the barbershop owner, hired Gamble 45 years ago, and they’ve been cutting hair together for decades. Mr. Gamble had a successful career in the U.S. Army and as a barber. He raised three wonderful children, including a son who is retired from the Army and a daughter who is currently a Major in the Army.
Later in the day, the White House Office of Public Engagement and Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships honored 10 individuals who are doing tremendous work in the field of fatherhood. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder delivered remarks at the event where they discussed the importance of fatherhood and healthy families to build stronger communities. The Champions of Change program was created as a part of President Obama’s vision to recognize ordinary Americans who do extraordinary work to serve and strengthen communities around the country. Click here to see the full list of Fatherhood Champions of Change.
Joshua DuBois is Special Assistant to President Obama and Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships