Get Dads Involved

January 21, 2021


AllProDad.com has great resources and advice for parenting. In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the holiday dedicated to him, this was their ‘Play of the Day’ article… ‘3 Ways to Grow Your Child’s Good Character.’ It’s a good one and timely given the issue of racism dominating America right now.

“In the late 1930s, as segregation ruled the south, a Black father took his son to a shoe store. Upon entering, they found two open seats near the front. Immediately, the store clerk told them he would give them service when they moved to the back of the store. The dad said the seats they found were fine. When the clerk told them that they’d have to move, the dad said, ‘We’ll either buy shoes sitting here or we won’t buy shoes at all.’ He took his son by the hand and angrily left the store, muttering, ‘I don’t care how long I live in this system; I will never accept it.’ His son remarked years later that his father refused to adjust to a system that was wrong. His dad helped mold his conscience. That son was Martin Luther King, Jr.”

The 3 ways to grow your child’s good character recommended were:

Affirmation – Guidance – Belonging!

You can read the whole article here.

Dr. King’s dad made a huge impact on his son, who in turn made a huge impact on families of every race in America and who did so without violence. Character really does matter, and family life is key to passing on those character qualities from parent to child.

It should come as no surprise, then, that as fatherlessness continues to rise so do the economic and social costs to our state.

Massachusetts Family Institute did the research and found that fatherlessness corresponded with a dramatic increase of children living in poverty, the high school dropout rate, violence in neighborhoods, families needing food stamps and cash welfare, and the divorce rate.

There are no short-cuts to a healthy culture. Cancel culture, socialism and redistribution of wealth are not the solutions to our socioeconomic problems. Healing the family is!

Here’s what that means practically for our state: instead of excluding parents, school districts in Rhode Island should try creative ways to get parents, especially dads, to be involved.

For example, school districts could take a page from Tony Dungy’s ‘play book’.

Tony Dungy is the national spokesman for All Pro Dads. Tony and his wife Lauren have 11 children, so he knows what it is to lead by example. Despite being the first African American head coach ever to win a Super Bowl and being one of the winningest coaches in the NFL, he values family above it all. His book Quiet Strength sold more than 1 million copies and was on the New York Times Best Seller List for 32 weeks. I’ve used his devotional “UNCOMMON LIFE – DAILY CHALLENGE” for 3 years now and still find it to be inspiring.

Two years ago, Dungy and All-Pro Dads joined with the Department of Education in Florida in a program called “Dads Take Your Child To School Day.”

Why? While much research shows that fatherlessness leads to poor outcomes, the inverse is also true. The Journal of Family and Marriage research shows kids have better grades and fewer discipline issues when their dad, or a father figure, is actively involved in their educational experience.

If you’re involved with your local school district, I encourage you to look for ways to get fathers involved!

Dave Aucoin
Chairman, Board of Advisors – Rhode Island

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