Ruth Freeman


Fathers are far more than just ‘second adults’ in the home. Involved fathers — especially biological fathers — bring positive benefits to their children that no other person is as likely to bring.

– David Popenoe, Life Without Father


A columnist recently quipped that, “In 50 years, our society has gone from ‘father knows best’ to ‘father knows nothing’ to ‘who needs a father?’” While both research and the feminist movement suggest that children raised with just mothers (or just fathers) thrive well, let’s take a look at the unique contributions that father make to our children’s lives:

  1. Fathers engage in more rough and tumble play. Children may seek out fathers more than their mothers for physical fun and activities.
  2. Fathers engage in more ‘“unexpected” behavior with kids.
  • When fathers surprise young children, children tend to be frightened and then laugh in delight. As young as six weeks old, babies “prepare” for interacting with moms and dads differently.
    • When mothers reach for them, babies calm down.
    • When fathers reach for them, heart and breathing rates increase, as if knowing interaction will be high energy rather than relaxing.
  1. father with his daughterFathers tend to use humor more than mothers even when disciplining kids.
  2. Fathers are sometimes more likely to build confidence. Mothers may tend to protect and dads encourage kids to push the limits
  3. Fathers communicate differently
  • Mothers will use simpler words and speak at child’s level which facilitates immediate communication.
  • Men are not as inclined to change the way they speak – father’s adult way of speaking may challenge children to expand vocabulary and linguistic skills, important building blocks of academic success.
  1. Fathers prepare children for the real world.
    • Involved dads help children see that attitudes and behaviors have consequences.
  • Fathers more likely than mothers to tell children that if they are mean to others, kids won’t want to play with them. Or, if they don’t succeed in school, they won’t get into a good college or secure a good job. Fathers often tend to help children prepare for reality and harshness of the world.
  1. Fathers tend to be less patient with children’s dependent behaviors like whining for help doing tasks they are able to do. If done in a positive way, this may contribute to child’s independence.

Keep in mind that these differences are trends and not hard facts. There are plenty of mothers who encourage kids to explore limits and support more independence. And, I have observed that in many same sex couples each parent may take on some of the differences described here.

Finally, while I see more moms in parenting classes than dads, over the years fathers’ participation has increased significantly. When only mom comes to class however, I am sometimes concerned that she will go home and try to transform dad into parenting more like a mom. I hope this list will help you appreciate dad’s approach and recognize how the interaction of the different perspectives will benefit your child most.

As you celebrate dad this week you might also remind him that in spite of getting up at night and coming home to more tasks at the end of the day and striving to be the best dad he can be in a world that might favor mom’s parenting style, fathers live longer than non-fathers! Here’s to a serene and joyful Father’s Day to you all from Peace At Home Parenting!

Share this P@H information:

For most of us the answer is yes.
But it helps to plan mindfully.

One definition of a blended family is a family consisting of a couple and their children from this and all previous relationships. Sounds so simple, doesn’t it? However, as 40% of US families know, it can be far more complicated. Not just how we spend Christmas, but day to day complications may arise associated with confusion and hurt feelings in both children and adults. This live online parenting class will focus on raising your awareness about the kinds of internal and external struggles many blended families face and identify approaches that can ease the difficulties for both adults and children.

Monday, April 24
8:15 – 9:15 PM EST

Price: $20.00 USD

Continue reading

Share this P@H information:

Many of us had to learn the hard way about managing money, credit and planning. Some of us are still struggling with these issues.

Whether you are a fiscal wizard or a beginner, you can teach your children essential financial literacy. The skills you teach your children today will help them develop habits to enrich the rest of their lives. Understanding the nature of money, what it can and cannot do, and how to make it work in your life are all learned skills you can help children acquire right now. Join our live online parenting class on April 22 to learn more about raising financially responsible children.

Saturday, April 22

9:15 – 10:15 AM EST

Price: $20.00 USD

Continue reading

Share this P@H information:

The teenage brain assesses risk differently and teens get bored more easily. These are just a few of the changes taking place in your adolescent’s brain that might make discipline and safety a lot more challenging. This live online parenting class will provide parents with important information about teen brain development and practical strategies to help teens stay safe and thrive.

 

Tuesday, April 11

8:15 – 9:15 PM EST

Price: $20.00 USD

Continue reading

Share this P@H information:
  • Is your child spending too much time in “time out”?
  • Are you concerned that you are too strict or too easy?
  • Do you sometimes think there must be a better way?

 

Monday, April 3
8:15 PM – 9:15 PM EST

Price: $20.00 USD

 

Kids raised with “firm and friendly” discipline are more confident and cooperative.

During this live online parenting class, you will discover myths that keep parents repeating the same behaviors that don’t work and can even increase misbehavior. This class provides evidence-based, straight-forward strategies that effectively increase and sustain child compliance.

Continue reading

Share this P@H information:

Some people think that if I can just be “strong” (have enough determination or self-discipline) I won’t eat that chocolate cake and I will be able to lose weight. Or I will get my taxes started instead of turning on the TV or I will put away my phone and go to bed on time.

Self-control is the capacity to inhibit our impulses because we can think clearly enough to compare the value of an immediate reward (the chocolate cake) versus a long term gain (like losing weight or feeling better). Self-control also involves using our thinking brain to compare immediate rewards to long term costs. (If I hit my little brother, I will end up in time out.) I often hear parents wondering out loud about why their child repeats a certain behavior that leads to a high cost outcome for the child (isolated in another room away from family due to misbehavior) or fails to get the child a reward they seek  (not going to the park due to failure to get ready).

In these cases, we fail to recognize some basic facts about how brains and bodies work.

Continue reading

Share this P@H information:

If you don’t think it is a big deal to be replaced by a baby brother after being the princess of the household and the apple of daddy and mommy’s eyes for 2 or more years,
try to put yourself in your child’s place.

Imagine: You have been happily married for 2 or more years and your husband treats you like you are special and wonderful. One day he says, “Guess what, I’ve decided to bring home another wife. I’m so happy about getting another wife and I’m sure you will be too. We will all be one big happy family.” You get the picture.

When the new baby arrives, both parents are exhausted and sleep deprived. Mom may be breast feeding which takes a lot of time and energy. Mom holds the baby close and quickly comforts the baby when he cries. Dad certainly plays with baby’s two year old sister, but may seem to have less energy and patience. Maybe your toddler is getting a little less outside play time. Your toddler may perceive correctly that she is getting less attention and baby gets a lot more. Continue reading

Share this P@H information:
  • Do you feel confused about how to respond to your children’s emotional displays?
  • Do emotions sometimes feel like misbehavior to you?
  • Do your own feelings feel overwhelming at times?

 

Emotional intelligence increases children’s self-worth and cooperation. It improves communication skills, strengthens the parent-child connection, reduces family conflict, and impacts all of your child’s future relationships. This live online class will provide parents with concrete tools to strengthen their own emotional intelligence and that of their children. Even if you wish most emotions would just disappear, this webinar will help you find a path through the confusion.

Monday, March 27

8:15 – 9:15 PM EST

Price: $20.00 USD

Continue reading

Share this P@H information:

Does any of the following sound like your child?

– Clinging, crying and/or tantrums when you separate
– Excessive shyness, avoiding social situations
– Constant worry
Avoiding situations or places because of fears
– Complaints of frequent stomachaches or headaches
– Experiencing sudden and frequent panic attacks

Your child may be struggling with anxiety.

This live online parenting class is designed to help you understand the nature of anxiety and learn practical solutions to everyday challenges that will reduce your child’s anxious feelings and behaviors.

Monday, March 20

8:15 – 9:15 PM EST

Price: $20.00 USD

Continue reading

Share this P@H information:

Some children display behaviors that challenge and sometimes defeat parents and other adults. Some of these behaviors may include chronic oppositionality as well as screaming, swearing, hitting and throwing objects. This live online class will help participants recognize why children may behave in these ways and apply effective responses that are not focused on punishment, but instead help children identify and repair lagging social skills, self-control and other unsolved problems that lead to such harmful behavior.

 

Tuesday, March 14

8:15 – 9:15 PM EST

Price: $20.00 USD

Continue reading

Share this P@H information:



For a full list of Online Live Classes, Click Here