Please welcome Laura Shoaf of Healthy Families Rappahannock Area as our guest blogger for the week. She is talking about "Daddy Duties".
Becoming a dad, whether it’s the first or the fifth time, is a BIG deal. An informal poll (I asked my daddy-friends) reveals that most guys were scared about something when they found out they were going to be a dad:
Now, imagine having all those fears but also facing your own struggles. Maybe you’re a teenager and you don’t know how you’re going to balance going to school with having a baby. Maybe your dad wasn’t in the picture when you were growing up and you’re not sure what it even means to be a dad. Maybe you and the baby’s mom are having problems and you’re trying to figure out how to stay involved in your child’s life. Becoming a dad might seem overwhelming. You might even feel like you can’t handle being a parent – that it’s just too much to deal with.
But don’t forget that dads are important! Study after study shows that children with involved fathers do better: they get higher grades, are less likely to live in poverty, are less likely to get into trouble with dangerous or unhealthy behaviors as teens (like alcohol, drug, or cigarette use), and have more self-confidence. And that’s just a few of the benefits!
Even though becoming a dad can be scary, it’s also wonderful. And there are programs right here in the Fredericksburg area that can help with those fears and make the transition to fatherhood easier. A few of the programs offered by the Rappahannock Area Community Services Board are listed below:
What if I don’t know how to take care of a baby?
Nobody (or at least nobody I know) knows everything about taking care of a baby at the beginning. Get involved with a parenting program. You’ll get some answers and you’ll realize that it’s ok to have questions.
Healthy Families Rappahannock Area 540-374-3366
A home visiting program for expectant or new parents, Healthy Families is a living, breathing parenting manual with information about parenting, child development, and community resources.
What if I’m not a good parent?
No matter what your own childhood was like, most of us have a picture in our head of the kind of parent we want to be. Whether you’re trying to live up to the model your own parents set for you or you’re trying to do things differently, learning about parenting skills and techniques can help.
DARE To Be You 540-374-3337
A series of interactive workshops, DARE To Be You helps families learn about communication, decision making, and problem-solving.
Program for Teen Parents 540-374-3337
Program for Teen Parents serves pregnant and parenting teens in Spotsylvania County, encouraging a healthy pregnancy and positive parenting.
What if something’s wrong?
As a parent, you know your child best. If you ever have concerns about your child’s development, don’t wait to share those concerns. Acting early can make a big difference!
Parent Education - Infant Development 540-372-3561
The Parent Education – Infant Development program provides developmental screenings and evaluations and supports families in addressing developmental delays.
Need more?Contact 2-1-1Virginia to find information about additional programs or for help finding a service that meets your specific needs.