What do great fathers do?
Good fathers do their best to provide for their children. Great fathers provide something more: they give their children time, love and understanding. They communicate with their children throughout their lives. They support the child’s mother, whether they are together in a relationship or not. It does not take money to be a great father. It takes the ability to listen, to pay attention to the child’s emotional needs as he or she grows, to help the child develop, and to talk and play with the child. In all research into fatherhood, children say that the most important thing their father gave them was being there as a constant support in their life.
One of the reasons why many men find it hard to be actively involved in caring for their children is that work can make it difficult to balance family and work life, especially if men work long hours or far away from their families because they cannot find employment close to home.
Sometimes women may actually exclude men from taking part in caring for and raising their children, especially when they are babies. It is important for men to communicate with the child’s mother so that he can develop a relationship with the child from birth.
If you are separated from your partner you can still be active in your child’s life. Paying maintenance is the most basic way you can support your child. It is equally important to spend time with your child and to be there for him/her, even if it is by phone. Follow your child’s life, pay attention to what they are doing in school, talk to them as often as you can. Most importantly, never let your child down. If you say you will do something, do it. If you say you will come and visit, make sure you arrive. Whatever the circumstances of his/her conception, and your relationship with his/her mother, s/he is an innocent and joint responsibility.
Men often lack positive role models in how to be an active father and so don’t know how a
father should behave. There is a lot of information out there. We like this website, www.dad.info. We have included some useful information and advice below.
About Brothers for Life
Brothers for Life promote positive male norms and encourage the uptake of health services such as Medical Male Circumcision (MMC), Men taking up HIV Testing, Consistent condom use by Men and reduction of sexual partners. The campaign mobilises men to actively engage in activities to address Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in their communities.