by Leslie Hatcher, Muncie Center Director
Our ministry is called First Choice for Women, but we all recognize the important role fathers play in the lives of their children. The article “Fathers’ Involvement and Children’s Developmental Outcomes: A Systematic Review of Longitudinal Studies,” notes, “An active fatherhood role not only reduced the frequency of behavioral problems in boys and psychological problems in young women, but it also had a positive effect on cognitive development, along with decreasing delinquency and economic disadvantage in low-income families.”
At First Choice, we welcome the dads, step-dads and grandfathers who come each week to our center.
Sixteen year old Nate and his girlfriend are expecting a baby in June. Nate heard about our services from an agency staff member who encouraged him to participate. Upon learning he was going to be a father, Nate shared, “I was in disbelief at first. Everything else I was doing, partying, everything – it’s gone, over, done. I knew I had to ‘man up’ and do what I needed to do for my baby.”
Currently Nate is working toward earning a crib and mattress set and hopes to continue attending ParentCare classes after the baby is born. “I have some nieces and nephews, so I knew the basics about childcare, but the worksheets and homework have helped me learn about all that could happen, like if I sleep in the same bed as the baby, it could die of SIDS,” (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
Nate has been meeting with volunteer mentor Dee Moore who recognizes the value of educating young fathers. “ParentCare is an important tool to prepare young people for parenthood. I’m impressed with Nate’s desire to learn how to be a good father. I’m looking forward to continuing to meet with Nate and to eventually meet his baby!”
Would you like to make a difference in lives of dads, moms, grandparents and babies? Join us in our vision to achieve a community in which every child is wanted, cared for and nurtured!