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.


Finding Heart said...

Academic support of our daughters is imperative. Year after year, 10 yr old girls would come into my class already having the idea that they weren't as smart as the boys. I had to work hard to nurture the growth of self-esteem in those girls.

Dads are in an ideal position to foster the sense of belief in her self and in her intelligence. Meet wrong answers with "That's interesting. Let's try another strategy.." instead of frustration or disappointment. It takes so much extra positive to outweigh the negative girls get in some schools.

Thanks for the reminder!

Gifts for Dad said...

Great post. In addition to your ability to foster in her a sense of competency and belief in herself, your presence and active involvement in her life fosters a sense of self-worth and value, that she is special and loved by a dad who absolutely loves spending time with her and sharing things with her.

the man, the dad and the husband said...

I am extremely passionate about dads being involved in schools. As a member of the dad's club, I have met almost every kid my child knows, I get high-fives in the hallway and I have met other fathers that feel the same way. In the post I just wrote about dads involvement in school, I wrote down an interaction with the sweetest kid in the world (apart from mine) I met through dad's club.

My wife works as a nurse dealing with babies and can tell you first hand how rare it is for the father to be involved even during the birth so I think dads in school make a much larger impact than just their own children.

teresa said...

Hello, my name is Teresa Kim and I am in a team of 8 students from the School of Management in Boston University. We are currently in the Research and Development stage of our new product development project and are looking for some feedback from mothers, fathers, and primary caretakers with children between the ages of 3-8. If this applies to you, then please help us with our research and take our survey! We will keep your responses confidential.

Thank you and here is the link to our survey: