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Who Was Your Father…Who Are You?

by Bruce Linton, Founder of the Fathers’ Forum

What was silent in the father speaks in the son, and often I found in the son the unveiled secret of the father. Friedrich Nietzsche

When men become fathers, they are confronted with a profound challenge to understand what “father” means to them. Most men are perplexed by this. In both my personal and professional lives, I have searched to understand why becoming a father is such an uncertain experience for today’s men.

In the fathers’ groups I have led, most men look to their own fathers as examples of how to be parents. Reflecting on their own fathers’ behavior often leaves them feeling sad, lonely, frustrated, angry and ambivalent. In our group, together, we struggle to understand and make peace with our fathers. Many of the men in my groups feel very limited by having a father who was either physically or emotionally absent from their lives. We try to understand how we can be more available and more emotionally connected with our families. Some of the men who had abusive fathers become fearful and wonder if they might hurt their own children. If we must rely on our own personal fathers as teachers or mentors on parenting, we may feel limited. To understand himself as a man, each of us must come to an understanding of his own father and his father’s influence on his life, both positive and negative.

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10 Ways Your Smartphone Use Is Affecting Your Toddler

by Amy Williams

We all know the role good nutrition and early childhood education plays in our children’s development. We encourage our toddlers to play, learn their ABC’s, and develop healthy habits. While we strive to create the ultimate learning environment, many parents fail to realize the impact our own Smartphone use has on toddlers.

We are highly connected, using devices to juggle work and family which allows our phones to become an essential tool for managing our daily lives. Our technology is often seen as a tool to connect with others and make lives easier, but experts are starting to observe technology is interfering with our parenting skills and children’s well-being.

 

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Technology does have a time and place, but placing our Smartphones and devices before our children’s needs can lead to emotional trauma and the development of physical problems. The following list is a compilation of possible unintended consequences our Smartphones may have on our families:

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From Man to Dad

No man can possibly know what life means, what the world means, until he has a child and loves it. And then the whole universe changes and nothing will ever again seem exactly as it seemed before. —L. Hearn

The most profound and complicated event in a man’s life is becoming a father. It is also the least understood and, until recently, the least researched topic in the study of adult development. No life transition—not getting married, changing jobs, moving, or completing educational goals—will have as long-lasting an effect on a man’s sense of purpose as becoming a parent.

When I first became a father 34 years ago, I thought I was prepared for fatherhood. I had completed my training as a Family Therapist and was well educated in the stages of the family life-cycle. But I was not prepared for the deep and powerful reorganization of my identity that I would experience.

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Current Trends in Reseach on Fatherhood

Some current trends for dads from our editorial staff at the Fathers’ Forum blog.

Researchers from Yale University scanned the brains of 16 university-educated professionals at different stages of their young child’s life, and discovered that becoming a father can trigger a major brain chemistry change.

When a couple is expecting a baby, it’s not just the mother that goes through hormonal changes. A new study suggests impending fatherhood coincides with a drop in two hormones in men—testosterone and estradiol—even before the baby is born.

How President Johnson’s War on Poverty had unexpected outcomes for Black Fathers.

The world of fatherhood is changing in so many ways. Stay informed of the current trends in fatherhood here on our blog. If you want to discuss the changes you are going through as a dad join one of our groups in the San Francisco area in California or our developing online community at the New Dads Network.