Little importance is placed on a father’s role as a parent … almost as if they are second-class citizens in their own children’s lives. However, according to HealthLine.com, “Two million men are single parents and just over 3 percent of stay-at-home parents are fathers.” 
When the discussion around parenting comes up, it is well known that mothers are often the parent being referred to. What about fathers? Aren’t they just as important as mothers when it comes to child rearing? Aren’t there benefits of a father’s involvement in lives of their children? How do we involve them in home visits, even if they are not living with their child?
First, let’s explore who could be considered a father. According to Parent Educator Resource: Fatherhood, a father can be a biological father, a stepfather, an adoptive father, and even a father figure (such as an uncle, grandfather, close family friend, even an older brother).  The father may or may not live with their child.
Attachment for fathers and their children usually begins at birth. However, research shows a father’s involvement in his children’s life is important and beneficial as early as prenatally and continues throughout their life. With guidance and love, some benefits for children include:
Parent Handout: Your Role as a Dad provides seven key concepts for fathers to be effective in their children’s lives:
When fathers are actively involved, mothers need to know and understand the importance of a father’s role in their child’s life. Parent Handout: What Moms Should Know About Dads provides useful information to help mothers understand a father’s role.
As parent educators, we need to validate fathers and remind them that their role in their children’s lives, education and development are just as important to their children as a mother’s role. By providing fathers with tools and developmental information, you are helping to continue fostering the father-child relationship.
Some ways to do this are:
Finally, a little something to remember: just because a father does things differently from what a mother does, does not make it wrong, it just makes it different.
Happy home visiting.
 Why Fathers Are Important to Children: https://www.healthline.com/health-news/why-fathers-are-important-to-children#2
 Parent Educator Resource: Fatherhood, (p. 1702-1706); Parents as Teachers Foundation I Curriculum.
 Parent Handout: Your Role as a Dad. (p. 1707-1708); Parents as Teachers Foundation I Curriculum.
 Parent Handout: What Moms Should Know about Dads (p.1711-1712); Parents as Teachers Foundation I Curriculum.