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Seeking help from others can benefit fathers as parents

June 16, 2011 - Washington

Not just mothers, fathers also need to sacrifice some of their earlier behaviors for the sake of their children.

Men are sometimes criticized for being unwilling to ask for directions when they travel, but a new study on fatherhood at the University of Chicago has suggested that they can benefit from looking for help as they begin their journeys as fathers.

Along the way, they should not shy from asserting their roles, said Jennifer Bellamy, an Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration.

"Sometimes dads feel like they don't get the same level of support that moms do when they become parents, but I think dads should seek opportunities from the beginning to be involved with their children," said Bellamy, who worked on a research project in Texas on fatherhood.

"Fathers should, for instance, try to go to visits with the pediatrician and ask questions about their child's development," she explained.

She also said fathers should seek out groups in their communities that provide support and encouragement for fatherhood and visit websites devoted to fathering for tips on their role.

Such resources can help fathers develop their distinctive strengths as parents.


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