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Our Being a New Dad Experts

Dr. T. Berry Brazelton

Dr. T. Berry Brazelton

Founder of the Child Development Unit at Children’s Hospital...

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Armin A. Brott

Armin A. Brott

Parenting expert, author, and weekly radio show host

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Dr. Jerrold Lee Shapiro

Dr. Jerrold Lee Shapiro

Clinical psychologist and professor of counseling psychology...

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You're the Dad Now

That doesn’t mean men aren’t supposed to create their own bond, only that it will be different. Each parent brings different strengths to the partnership. The child usually relies on the mother for security, comfort and warmth. The child looks to the father for his sense of freedom and independence and view of the world. Of course, those qualities can come from either parent, but when all these strengths work hand in hand, it creates the perfect environment for the baby. Since most men work during their babies’ first weeks and months, creating their own bond with their child is very important for both the father and baby.

Having a father in his or her life is one of the most important things for a baby, and that’s why the National Center for Fathering (NCF) opened its doors in 1990—as a way to improve the well-being of children by inspiring and equipping men to be more effectively involved in the lives of children.

“We have developed practical resources to prepare dads for nearly every fathering situation,” says NCF’s founder, Ken Canfield, Ph.D. “Studies show how important a father figure is during the first few months of a child’s life, and we help dads understand their role in the process.”

Beating the New Dad Fears

Many men look for help because they are unsure about what they are doing. There are also a number of fears men typically go through when they are faced with fatherhood for the first time. The biggest fear men face is the one most deeply hardwired into our culture: “Will I be able to protect and provide for my family?” There’s also the fear that something will happen to your baby and you won’t be able to protect it. All new fathers think about these things, and experts agree that it’s natural to start thinking about all the harm that can come to the baby in all sorts of scenarios.

Posted: 10/3/07