This week’s Facts for Fathers, Young Dads: It’s All in the Connection, gives simple and practical tips to help young dads know the basics of parenting. Following this advice can help young dads do the right thing for their children as they grow.

Being a father takes preparation and connection. Doing these things lets your children know you are looking out for them.

Getting ready for the change

    • Having a child changes your life in huge ways.
    • The most important thing about being a father is to make sure you do everything in your child’s best interest. The needs of your child come first.
    • Get ready to spend as much time as possible with your child.
    • Your priorities may need to change. You may not be able to do the things you did before you had a child.
    • Take fathering or parenting courses to learn all you can about raising children.
    • Spend time with relatives or friends and their babies to learn the little things about raising children.
    • Talk with your partner about being parents. Find out what she thinks a father’s role is.
    • Be straight up and respectable in your relationship with mom, especially when there is conflict between you.
    • Remember: It’s not about how old or mature you are. What you do is what matters most.

10 Actions For Young Dads to Build Connection With Their Children

1. Provide for your child – Look after the basics. Even if you don’t live with your child, you can give a child what they need to survive.

2. Do things with your child – Taking your child places, telling them about what is happening, and involving them in your life builds valuable connections between you both.

3. Care for your child – Do whatever it takes to help them grow.

4. Show affection – Kind, tender words, hugs, kisses – they all matter to your child and help your child learn to trust you.

5. Be dependable – Do what you say you are going to do.

6. Independence – Allow children to do things for themselves that they are able to handle.

7. Positive Discipline – Gradually help children learn how to act when no one is there to tell them what to do.

8. Patient guidance from dad – Character develops slowly. Children need you to guide them with patience and care.

9. Stay connected to mom – Staying connected to your child means you will likely be connected with mom. Keep it respectful.

10. Be responsible – Finish school, get a job, do what it takes to provide for your child

Parenting is the most important job dads will ever have. Unfortunately, when it happens while you’re very young and without any support – it can feel impossible. If you are a young dad, hang in there! We’ve got tips to help, and you’ve got the strength to do it. If you work with young dads, the most important thing you can do is believe in them. Help them see how important they are in the lives of their children and encourage them to get involved, while providing practical direction for their parenting skill development.

If you know anyone who could use encouragement or would enjoy this information, please share our blog with them. The Young Dads: Its All in the Connection “Fact Marks for Fathers” resource can be downloaded here, or a hard copy can be purchased in our store.