Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Making a Difference-Preventing Violence

image  image  

As fathers and stepfathers of daughters, we realize our unique  responsibility to assist in the primary prevention of sexual and domestic violence. But too many men don’t think we have a role.

That’s why I’d like you to join me at the “Men Can Make A Difference” conference October 2nd ad 3rd At Cragun’s Resort outside Brainerd, Minnesota. I’ll be conducting two workshops there and the featured speakers include Tony Porter (left) Co-Founder of A Call to Men and Robert Jensen (right), the University of Texas professor who does so much to show pornography’s devastating role in defining masculinity.

Learn more and register at

I hope to see you there.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Dads, Daughters and School

Strawberry pair School is starting up again around the country—a good time to remind ourselves how much impact dads & stepdads have on our daughters’ academic success.

A father has a direct impact when he is vocal with his attention to his daughter's academic and extra-curricular activities. Even when our involvement is as simple as asking our daughters about their schoolwork, she’s better off. Imagine the effect on the world if even a few more fathers got more engaged in our daughter’s lives and schooling.

I love doing her science projects with her, and encouraging her to think about doing things on the computer. We’ve been doing a project on how and why siphoning works. She had to come up with a hypothesis, and she didn’t quite understand what a hypothesis was. So we talked about it. “It’s a guess, it’s an educated guess. What do you think will happen, and why does it work?” “The air pushes the water.” ‘Okay, let’s go prove it, or disprove it. And then you revise it.” We have fun doing those kinds of projects. I absolutely enjoy science, and that’s a lot of fun, partially because I get to show off a little bit, too. -- Jerry

It feels good to show off what we know to our kids. When our daughters see us excited and proud about our knowledge and skills (no matter what they are), their own excitement and pride in learning is affirmed. Whether fathers share knowledge we gained from work or hobbies, they seem to have a special ability to spark interest in daughters. This helps girls learn that they can handle the knowledge and skills needed to be an adult with responsibilities, careers and hobbies.