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Happy Father’s Day

Fathers play an important role in both the domestic violence movement and in teaching their children about healthy relationships. Kenny Wallace, NASCAR driver and friend of The Hotline, once explained the responsibility he felt as a supportive husband and father. “I want to send out the message that hitting is never acceptable and to be respectful of your loved ones,” said Wallace. “I want to set an example as a loving husband and father that any type of violence is never ok.”

Fathers who model respectful relationship behaviors and talk about domestic violence with their children, help further prevention efforts by educating the next generation. Men’s groups like Men Against Violence, Men Can Stop Rape, Men Rally For Change and countless other men’s organizations are doing inspiring work to promote healthy relationships and end domestic violence and sexual assault.

To celebrate Father’s Day, we want to highlight some important ways that a father’s behavior positively affects his children.

Fathers Help Early Learning

Babies learn rapidly from everything they experience. Did you know that the number of words a father uses when a child is two years old impacts the child’s vocabulary a year later? (see source 1) Fathers can be very crucial to a baby’s development, influencing everything from the child’s social skills to their ability to problem solve. (2) Because early development has a profound influence on the child’s life, fathers who promote happy relationships in their home help make sure that their child is in both an environment, and mental place, conducive to learning.

Fathers Can Teach Healthy Behavior

Talking to children about what relationships should look like is as important as teaching them to look both ways before they cross the street. Children should know how to be safe in every area of his or her life. By opening a dialogue, dedicated dads can have a positive impact on a child’s understanding of relationships.

Fathers Can Provide an Anchor

A father can be a steady and calming presence in a child’s life. Children whose fathers are committed to them and their family have an established sense of reliability and devotion in their understanding of loving and caring for another person. Children will know that they can turn to a parent in times of trouble, for example, if a child is experiencing dating abuse. Having parents who will listen and help allows children the chance to safely express their feelings and get the support they need.

Fathers Can Model Healthy Behaviors
Because actions speak louder than words, showing respect to others in front of children is the easiest way to incorporate respectful behavior into his or her daily routine. Fathers often teach without words by demonstrating to their kids how to respond in different situations by communicating effectively and managing conflict well themselves. We all learn by examples, and fathers can be motivational examples for their children.

Father’s Day doesn’t only celebrate dads, but all positive male figures in our lives. We appreciate everything fathers and other supportive men do to help children and families lead healthy and happy lives. Have a safe and special Father’s Day!

4 replies
  1. Isabelle says:

    Thanks for this. I can only hope my ex-husband will be able to change enough to be a positve, rather than a negative infuence on our children. Wanting the kids to have an intact famliy and a father figure was one of the reasons I did not leave sooner. But it eventually became apparent that he would not change within the marriage. We are both in better places in our lives and I hope he will be able to temper his behavior for the sake of the kids.

    • HotlineAdmin_KL says:

      Isabelle,
      I am glad to hear that you feel you are in a better place in your life. Wanting the kids to have an intact family and a father figure in their life, is a very common reason why it is so difficult for someone being abused to leave their relationship. You are not alone. I imagine it must have taken a lot of courage for you to leave your ex-husband. It sounds like you did what you needed to for you and your children’s safety. Hotline advocates are available 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 if you would like to talk about ways to safety plan with your children for when they are in your ex-husband’s care. Calls to the hotline are always confidential and anonymous.
      Take care,
      HotlineAdmin_kl

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  3. Beth says:

    However carefully written, I find hightlighting domestic violence on Fathers Day unpleasant and it probably alienates more than it motivates. Fathers Day is just one day of the year where the we can show appreciation for the good men in our lives. Personally I feel it should be used for that and only that, just one day out of 365 is not a lot to ask.

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