Every year Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June. On this day we recognize fathers, father figures and any important men in our life. We often hear the phrase, “World’s Greatest Dad” but have you ever wondered what are the qualities that would make a parent great?
In the TED Talk “And so I decided to become the world’s best dad” Hermann Jónsson discusses the importance of developing open communication between you and your child in order to achieve the goal of world’s best dad. Jonsson believes becoming the world’s greatest dad is not a well-defined goal and goes beyond making pancakes and taking trips to the park. He defines his goal by creating a vision of the adult he wants his children to become. He does this by looking at himself and deciding what values he has that he would like to pass onto his children and what values he does not have he would like to adopt. He does this because the only person he can really change is himself, and so he decides to become this vision of the person he would want his children to become.
What parents say and do translate into direct messages to children. We must practice the values we want to instill in our children’s lives. Strong and open communication between parents and children is the best way to ensure mutual trust.
Jonsson gives an example of a time his son said to him, “Dad I can’t go to school, I have a stomach ache” and he responded, “No problem, you will stay home today”. This response from a parent might come as a shock as often times parents immediately reply “No you are going to school you are fine”. The reason he decided to say “No problem” is because he knew that by taking pressure off his son, he would be more likely to open up and tell him the real reason he didn’t want to go to school. The important message Dad was sending to his child was that he “will listen, will take you seriously, and will respond” rather than the opposite. Without the pressure being taken off, his son might have felt hesitation the next time he felt anxiety and their communication between would not be strong.
It is important to develop strong communication skills with not just our children but anyone in our lives we care about. Improving our communication is not an easy task but it is well worth the hard work. Developing strong communication with your children will get you one step closer to being crowned the “World’s Greatest Dad.”
Throughout the San Diego County there are Dad centered programs provided in efforts to increase involvement of Dad’s.
The Vista Community Clinic “Dad’s Club”
“Program offers education and support for fathers through parenting and relationship workshops (10 sessions each) and flexible case management. Workshops are court approved and free to clients enrolled in the program. Participants have access to a variety of free services and resources that will help them climb out of poverty and unemployment. Program features include: guidance on how to improve engagement with their children, family members, and the community, employment training and skills development to improve job opportunities and upward economic mobility, referrals to social services agencies and programs to address mental health, substance use and trauma, workshops in character building, communication, parenting and conflict resolution, enrollment assistance for health insurance and services such as CalFresh and CalWORKs.”
Mental Health America of San Diego County | Father2Child
Offers a free, court approved, 12-week parenting program for fathers of children 0-17 years old. Classes offer new parenting techniques and skills, and encouraging fathers to improve their awareness of the importance of a father in the life of a child, and to create stronger bonds with their children. A certificate is given at the end of the 12 sessions.
First 5 San Diego offers “Daddy DVD’s” that provide essential training for new dads! The DVD provides helpful tips and tricks to help give you a running start at fatherhood! The information is also available in Spanish. If you would like a Daddy DVD, please call our office at 619-523-7700 and mention this newsletter article!
Becoming a parent is a rewarding journey that involves a lot of hard work. If can be difficult to adjust to caring for a newborn but there are resources available to help you. First 5 San Diego’s program “First 5 First Steps” offers home visitation services to help you prepare for the birth of your child. For more information please call 1-888-534-7785.
To receive a FREE New Parent Kit with resources please visit this link: https://first5sandiego.org/kit-for-new-parents/ or call 2-1-1 or 1-888-534-7785.
If you would like to watch TEDxReykjavik Hermann Jónsson “And so I decided to become the world’s best dad” visit this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZ0YlmE5waU