Thursday, April 26, 2007

Making fathers of young dads

"There is a false view that young dads are hard to reach," says Jenny Midwinter, coordinator with Leeds Sexual Health Initiatives, quoted in this article in The Guardian. The article is on a scheme in Leeds to help young fathers engage with their children and look after them. "Other services fail to engage young fathers when they attempt to bolt something for them on to existing provision for teenage mums," she says. "Young men won't attend a 'parents' group when it is clearly focused on mothers. The sad thing is that their non-involvement with such services can bolster the stereotype of them not wanting to play any part in their children's lives."

The scheme is called Fact (Fathers and Children Together) and John May, Fact's specialist learning mentor for teenage fatherhood, says: "Most of what we provide has been asked for by the lads themselves." The sessions include workshops on everything from car safety to baby food preparation, provided by outside experts or Fact's attached pair of nursery nurses, says the Guardian article. Then there are trips with their babies to the library; picnics in the park and a visit to see Santa. "Anyone can go to buy a pack of nappies," says May, "but our lads want to be competent dads. The skills they acquire are far more likely to benefit their relationship with their children and, in turn, with the mums, even if they are no longer together as couples. And all at absolutely minimum cost.".....


Paige A Harrison said...

The Irish Mammy is an instantly recognisable institution partly because their sons wax lyrically about their incomparable brilliance.

Maybe its time that Irish daughters did the same for their fathers and transform the Daddy into a role that young men would be proud to become.

All this nonsense about women's liberation when it is our young male teenagers who need some positive discrimination.

Nice blog.

Padraig said...

God, I had forgotten the Irish Mammy! Is the modern Irish Mammy still a saint or is she a more worldly creature? Will Yummy Mummies morph into Irish Mammies? I think you are the very woman to address this question on your blog (which, folks, is and worth the visit. Padraig

Paige A Harrison said...

Agh yes, Padraig, were you always so forward? Didn't JL Pagano* tell you, I'm a blog virgin?!

Methinks that the Irish Mammy is still very much with us. She's gone on a FAS-funded upskilling course to ensure her beloved never even contemplates shacking up with your truly!

(*) All Smoke and Mirrors - now there's a man worth name checking

Padraig said...

Hi Paige, I've put up a post on the subject of Irish mammies, called "From Irish mammy to yummy mummy". Did a piece on the subject in my Irish Times column yesterday too in which I referenced your blog.