Parent Leadership, One of Our Most Valuable Resources

Stacy Hladek | Families First

One of the most valuable resources our society has at our disposable is parent leadership.  February is National Parent Leadership month. Created by Parents Anonymous ® Inc. in 2004, February is set aside to recognize, honor and celebrate parents for their invaluable leadership roles in their homes and communities, as well as state, national and international arenas. This annual event acknowledges the strengths of parents as leaders and promotes awareness about the important roles parents can play in shaping the lives of their families and communities.

The state of Colorado has a variety of Parent Leadership trainings and opportunities. 

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The Importance of Fathers in Their Children’s Lives

Stacy Hladek, Family Resource Coordinator | Families First

If you knew there was one thing our nation could do to improve every area of a child's development, would you be in support of that one thing? Research shows children that have involvement from both a father and mother perform better in all developmental areas. Children need their fathers to be involved. For far too long, our country has seen fathers at best as an add-on to what mothers provide for children and in some cases fatherhood has been discounted altogether.

Families First, Colorado Dads and the state of Colorado value the vital role fathers play in the lives of children. The Colorado Fatherhood Council, in conjunction with Families First, is holding five Fatherhood Forums across the state this month to share information regarding the Council becoming a Practitioner's Network as well as to obtain additional input regarding the needs and assets that can be mobilized to promote fatherhood services in Colorado.

In addition, these meetings will try to find additional people to help plan and participate in a Leadership Summit on Fatherhood and/or to be involved in the practitioner's network. If you would like to participate in one of these forums please register by going to this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CoFatherhoodForums2014

In the meantime, take a look at some of the research that clearly shows the importance of fathers in all areas of a child's life and development. Here are just a few of the stats that can be found online:

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Mother’s Day

Stacy Hladek | Families First

Mother's Day is May 12th, that is a week from this Sunday. There are likely to be lots of articles to suggest ways to honor your mom or help your children honor their mom. I would like to take a different approach and speak to moms directly. Give yourself permission to pat yourself on the back and to take a break. Parenting is both the toughest and most rewarding job in the world. This is a good time to remind moms (fathers too) that you have to fill your own bucket before you can fill up others. Remember the example given on airplanes, you must put your own oxygen mask on before you help others. If you do not, you are going to pass out and not be helpful to anyone. In fact, you could hinder someone else as they try to care for you. Please don't "pass out" figuratively.

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Initiating fatherhood programs to benefit society...

The U.S. government has, in the recent past, made commitments to reconnect fathers with their children through funding for programs and federal initiatives. After seeing an increase in issues regarding child support enforcement, crime prevention, high adolescent drop-out rate and studies that show a direct link between nonproductive behaviors in youth to a missing father in the home -— the tipping point was reached.

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Successful Fatherhood Programs

I recently wrote an article on the need for administrators of fatherhood programs to establish honest, sustainable relationships with the fathers they serve and within the past two weeks I have received many positive, thoughtful responses. I thank the newspapers and online publishers for reprinting the piece and hope that many more are to come. Salut!

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Fatherhood initiatives need understanding administrators

Fatherhood is receiving a great deal of attention these days due to new funding initiatives by the Federal government and an increased awareness in the costs associated with children being reared in "fatherless" homes. For the sake of brevity, I won't focus on the numbers, statistics, or studies, yet I will, however, focus on the various programs that are being, and have been, implemented to assist fathers in "re-connecting" with their children in a positive way.

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