Many men can father a child, but that’s not the same as being a genuine father. Being a good dad involves a lifetime commitment, and a present father plays a unique and crucial role in shaping a child’s life. 

The impact fathers have on their children is immeasurable. Fathers influence many aspects of a child’s life, including their emotional well-being, cognitive development, and future relationships. At Open Arms Real Choices Clinic, we recognize that pregnancy is not just about women. We offer classes and counseling to both women and men on caring for children and relationships, recognizing that the well-being of children will depend on the care and attention they receive from the people around them, especially their mothers and fathers.


Preparing for Fatherhood

When a man finds out that he will be a father, he should understand that, although he is not the one who carries the baby, he still has a responsibility to prepare for the baby’s arrival. His commitment to the responsibilities of fatherhood is a crucial step in ensuring a solid foundation for the family-to-be. If a father is going to be involved in his child’s life, he needs to be fully included in the preparations for the birth of the baby, both emotionally and physically. Being present during pregnancy and at birth strengthens the bond between fathers and their partners and prepares them for the challenges and joys of parenthood. 

Sometimes, societal and workplace challenges can hinder a father’s involvement – it may be difficult to join a partner at a prenatal appointment during the daytime, or an employer might not be supportive of taking time off to assist in preparations or staying home after the baby is born. Nonetheless, whatever help and support the father can provide the mother during this preparation time is meaningful and valuable to the family.


What Kind of Father Will You Be?

The type of father a man becomes is influenced by various experiences, including his upbringing. Understanding his own reactions and behaviors is essential, as unresolved issues from the past may impact how fathers relate to their children. Men must come to terms with their family relationships and evaluate and meditate on the kind of father they want to be, especially if their fathers were not supportive or not present. 

Fathers-to-be should strive to create a happy and harmonious atmosphere in the family home they will be part of; children are highly sensitive to the emotional dynamics between their parents. This need to create the right environment from the start is why Open Arms Real Choices Clinic offers classes for fathers and couples to build strong and positive relationships with one another and their children.

The early days of fatherhood often bring unexpected changes, such as less sleep, reduced finances, and altered intimacy with their partners. Adjusting to this new reality may take time, and fathers who actively participate in caring for their infants rather than standing by as spectators can find the changes challenging. It’s crucial to recognize that postnatal depression can affect fathers as well as mothers, and seeking support from healthcare professionals, friends, or family members is essential.

Striking a balance between being helpful and supportive in caring for the baby without overshadowing the mother is a delicate task. Research indicates that when fathers are affectionate and supportive, it positively influences a child’s cognitive and social development, fostering a sense of well-being and confidence.

As the child grows, fathers play a pivotal role in their emotional development and shaping their relationships with others. Children look up to their fathers to set an example, establish rules of behavior, and provide a sense of security. A father’s affectionate and supportive demeanor and guidance impact a child’s social development, influencing their overall sense of well-being and self-confidence.

How fathers treat their children shapes their children’s expectations in friendships, romantic relationships, and spousal connections. Daughters, in particular, depend on their fathers for emotional support and security, seeking similar qualities in their future partners. Sons, on the other hand, model their behavior after their fathers, seeking approval and guidance on how to navigate the world.


Help For Fathers


At Open Arms Real Choices Clinic, many of the young women who come to us have an unplanned pregnancy and may not be in a committed relationship with the fathers of their babies. However, despite the unexpected situation, their partners are willing to accept the responsibilities of fatherhood and want to be involved in creating a stable home for their children. To help them on their journey, we offer classes and support to young men to help them understand the changes they will experience in their relationships and lives. We encourage them to embrace their new role, recognizing that their contributions to building strong families are indispensable for fostering a positive influence on their children that has the potential to resonate through generations.


If you would like more information about our support for fathers, or if you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, contact Open Arms Real Choices Clinic today.

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