Developmental Milestones from Birth to Age 12: Supporting Father-Child Engagement at Different Ages.

Publication Year: 
2017
Corporate Author: 
Office of Adolescent Health, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Abstract: 

This web section provides information about how program staff can work with young fathers directly to cultivate the skills needed for positive engagement with their children. Keep in mind that staff will need to assess young fathers' age-related maturity and their general abilities (e.g., literacy level). Staff may also need to adjust the engagement strategies recommended in this tip sheet accordingly to meet fathers where they are. The web section is organized by children's developmental periods: infancy (0-1 years), toddlerhood (1-4 years) and the early school years (5-12 years). Each page begins by explaining one or two key developmental milestones, followed by tips for engaging fathers in developmentally appropriate, child-centric activities. Tips introduced at earlier ages can continue to be fostered at later ages; for example, program staff can encourage fathers to continue building strong emotional bonds with their children, as is recommended for infants, when their children are older. In addition to the tips provided below, staff should be aware of the positive behaviors fathers already exhibit and be quick to recognize their competencies. When staff praise behaviors fathers already exhibit, they help fathers feel proud, competent, and motivated to do even more.  (Author introduction modified)