My Quest To Teach

July 17, 2014

Fathers Please Read To Your Children

Fathers Read To Your Children

Summer time is the perfect opportunity for fathers to be actively
involved with their children promoting reading. Involvement does
not mean just joining summer sports programs, involved in swimming
lessons or other activities where there is limited connection of interactive
engagement or bonding between fathers and children.
Summer programs are important because they help to build qualities
in children that transfer to leadership, teamwork, cooperation, building
friendships, self-esteem, confidence and other important skill-sets that
children will need in life.

The engagements that I’m writing about are fathers sitting down with
their children and reading to them and children reading to their fathers.
The importance of one on one reading improves literacy and comprehension,
the ability to recognize words, building a rich vocabulary and the
self-confidence and self-respect to want to read more.

Pediatricians recently champion the importance of parents reading
aloud to their kids everyday if possible. Reading promotes literacy and
social-emotional skills that are important for growth and development
even in infants and toddlers. As I write this and remember how students
at my elementary school were excited about their fathers being involved
in school by volunteering and even reading in the classroom, the value
of fathers involvement cannot be understated. “Reading with young children
is a way to build strong and healthy parent-child relationships and stimulate
early language development,” Dr. Pamela High, Pediatrician and professor
at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School.

Early education in reading is important because adult literacy starts in
kindergarten and earlier. Just because a fathers child cannot read at
ages 3 they are developing a love for words, building comprehension,
listening, and imagination. Key tools that are found in the classrooms of
our nation. Early education programs are flourishing in school districts
like Duval County Public Schools. Parents cannot afford, not to enroll their
children in Pre-K or Early Learning programs because of increased
academic standards, educational benchmarks and assessments.
Fathers that read to their children increase their own reading abilities so
even fathers that do not have a strong foundation in reading can improve
their abilities as they create an environment of connectivity that is unique
to father and child. Fathers should understand that there is a difference
when you know you can read and when you think you can read. Children,
especially boys will initially struggle with reading, there is magic when
boys see their fathers reading and magic when fathers read to their children.
The stereotype that reading is nerdy, geeky, weak, feminine or other
degrading labels must stop, and fathers have the power to do this.

David O. McKay BYU’s School of Education “Dads Reading To Children”
states: “fathers reading to children is one of the very best ways to reverse
the academic ambivalence (doubt) we’re seeing in young boys.” Boys at
an early age will shy away from reading, but when faced with challenges
in reading in front of the class or reading to the teacher, when problems
arise they are quick to rebel and not participate. Fathers can prevent these
Fathers should not have anxiety nor apprehension about reading to their
children, this is not an overnight activity, but should be planned for a certain
amount of time either during the day or in the evening. Make this a magical
and important activity, the children will expect it and look forward to being
read to. Investigate subject areas, themes, story lines, relevant information
and importantly what is fun. Even comic books are fun to share and read.
Parents read to Children with reading links…..

Huffington Post Article

As fathers decide on stories consider how long the story will be, if it is a long
book or contains a lot of pictures think about spreading it over several days.
Determine your child’s attention span is important because each child is different,
their engagement or involvement is important, and the age. The older the child
the more they may want to ask questions, the older the child they may even
ask you father to ask them questions as my children did when they were
younger of me when I read to them. Importantly if reading to two or more
children, make sure they understand that this is not a competition for
attention or rewards, this is time to share time with daddy.

In this twenty-first century dads, step-dads and surrogate fathers are
reading to their children, this is not a new thing. The Center for Disease
Control studies that fathers consistently read to their children showed
that behavior is significantly improved in the children, academic growth is
shown, attention span improves and grades are higher because reading
is the foundation of all learning.

Senator Patty Murray of Washington State a Democrat has stated about
reading and literacy, “if students don’t have a strong foundation in reading
and writing, there is very little else we can do to help them succeed in the
modern world. Literacy needs to come first…..” Fathers should encourage
their children to excel in education, especially children of color that are
the most challenged. Challenges are not because children of color cannot
gain the skills of literacy, but because they are in to many cases distracted,
unmotivated or not exposed at home or in their communities.

Data shows the results of fathers being involved in their children’s lives,
there is more of an impact when “dad” is involved, stated on the web site,
Fatherhood Online; that is developed from the National Fatherhood Initiative.
“Children with involved, loving fathers are significantly more likely to do well
in school, have a healthy self-esteem, exhibit empathy and pro-social behavior,
and avoid high-risk behaviors such as drug use, truancy, and criminal activity
compared to children who have uninvolved fathers” (1994-2006).

Even fathers that are divorced or not married to the children’s mother
shows the importance of fathers. The overall performance of students in
school the data supports, (Peterson and Zill, 1986; Wallerstein and Kelly, 1980)
“continued contact to be related to improved psychological scores, fewer
behavioral problems, and better peer relationships” contribute to relatively
normal lives of children.

The foundation to keep students engaged and excited about learning
comes from HOME FIRST. A school year has 180 days, fathers
should need more than one hand to count how many times they
have visited their children in school, eaten lunch, spoken with teachers,
gone on field trips and volunteered. Even fathers that have been
incarcerated have rights to visit their children in school and be actively

Just because a father is in the criminal justice system from past mistakes,
associations, lack of employment and other non-violent cases they should
still be allowed to be involved in their children’s lives. Maybe the incentive
of fatherly involvement is what many fathers need to get on and stay on
the path of growth and societal emersion for success. Children can and do
change a fathers perspective on the priorities of life. Mothers are important
in this by promoting and guiding the relationship between fathers and their
children, not destroying or weakening this bond.
The reality is fathers are supposed to be the role models, mentors and
promoters of education and enlightenment for their children in intellectualism,
especially in children of color. Fathers are disappointments when at 5 or 6
years of age their children don’t know their whole names, cannot count to 20,
don’t know their colors, cannot read fundamental words; don’t know their
addresses, telephone numbers, what city, state, and country they live in.
Fathers are a disappointment when they are not involved in the education of
their children helping to raise the lives they created.
Fathers turn off the television, shut down the computer, put up the
gaming system. Unplug, disconnect, cut off, disengage, and sever the
connections of distractions. READ TO YOUR CHILDREN

Why fathers need to be involved in education of their children:
The Mis-Education of the Negro and Education of the Negro
(Carter G. Woodson) fathers are valuable and of value.

Reading Resources for Fathers
80 Books Every Man Should Read
Book List

Must Read Books for Men
Book List

Books of Black History
45 Books to Teach Children About Black History
Book List

100 Must Read Books for African Americans
Book List

50 Good Books Every Black Woman Should Read
Book List


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