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January 29, 2013

Dads: man up at school!

Connie Matthiessen, Associate Editor

Dad kids school

Parenting, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, has become “more of a ‘guy’ thing,” thanks to the growing ranks of stay-at-home dads who are putting their own “distinctly masculine stamp on child-rearing and home life.’”  

According to the Journal, “ Mr. Mom” — that bumbling incompetent  featured in the 1983 movie of that name — is dead.  HuffPo’s Lisa Belkin even wrote an obituary for him — although she questions if he ever actually existed, speculating that he’s “either a product of Hollywood's imagination or a conspiracy by those who would keep women down by suggesting that men somehow couldn't cook dinner or burp a baby. Or both.  At the same time.”

Dads go to school

If dads are stepping up at home, does this mean they’ll increase their involvement at school as well? When I volunteer in my kids’ classrooms, work on school fundraising events, or attend PTA meetings, a handful of dedicated dads always show-up — but mothers inevitably out-number them by 3 to 1, or more.  

The national Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is hoping to get more fathers into schools, and teamed up with the organization, WATCH  D.O.G.S  (Dads of Great Students) to hold a “Male Engagement Conference” in Kansas City next month. The goal of the conference is to increase male involvement in schools and PTAs, “to reduce bullying, and to bring dads and male mentors into schools nationwide.”

A few good men

A 2009 survey by the National Center for Fathering and the PTA showed that fathers’ involvement in their children’s learning increased significantly between 1999 and 2009, which is good news — for kids and dads, too. Research shows that children whose fathers are involved in their schools have better education outcomes; they are more likely to receive A's and less likely to repeat a grade. And, as the WATCH D.O.G.S. video below makes clear, when dad’s come to school they benefit as much as kids do — and have a blast, too!  

We’d love to hear from dads: do you help out at your kids’ schools? Tell us about it!

 

Comments

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Doing my part as a great Dad, I volunteered to help out at lunch time once a week. Starting out, I was the ONLY dad doinf lunch duty and helping the kids with lunch and reccess. Word got out and more dads began to show up.
I did this for 8 years and it was very rewarding not only to spend extra time with my daughters, but I built a great rapport with other students, friends, parents teacher and the principle.

Thanks so much, John!

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