Tyler Elementary celebrates the importance of fathers in their children’s lives.  While mothers have traditionally borne the bulk of the responsibility for raising children, fathers are an equally integral component of parenting.  Take advantage of the information here to help you discover activities, advice tips, literature, organizations and even support groups to help you define your role in your child’s life.  Whether you are a stay-at-home Dad, a married Dad, a step-Dad, a non-custodial Dad, a grandfather or even an uncle who finds himself helping to parent a young child, the Dad’s Corner was designed to help Tyler fathers and father figures be the best dads they can be.

The Dad E-mail is a weekly e-newsletter created by the National Fatherhood Initiative which is filled with helpful hints and tips just for dads! It gives dads relevant ideas for connecting to your children, balancing work and family, handling tough family issues, and more.  Get Connected – sign up for the Dad E-mail!

20 Long Distance Activities for Dads at a Distance: Fun and creative ways to stay in touch and connect with your child whether you are traveling for business, facing the challenges of parenting beyond the “weekend”, or living in another state.   

Overcoming Barriers to Fathers:  An excellent article that explores the things that fathers, mothers, and social institutions can do to help overcome obstacles that keep fathers away from their children.  

National Center For Fathering:  A non profit that provides practical training and resources that equip men in virtually every fathering situation to be the involved fathers their children need.  They offer seminars, small-group training, the WATCH D.O.G.S. program, a daily radio program, and a weekly e-mail.

WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) is the father involvement initiative of the National Center for Fathering that organizes father figures to provide positive male role models for the students. WatchDOGS are dads, grandfathers, step-fathers, uncles, and other father figures who volunteer to serve at least 1 day each year in a variety of school activities as assigned by the school principal.

10 Ways to be a Better Dad: A short, but, sweet article describing important steps men can take to be better fathers for their children.

Ways to Maximize Your Involvement ~ Tips for Non-Custodial Dads or Dads Who Share Custody (great ideas for all dads but they are especially helpful for fathers who are not primary caretakers or have troubled communications with the other parent)  

  • Establish an open line of communication with your child’s teacher.  At the beginning of the year, make a point to introduce yourself to your child’s teacher and exchange all relevant contact details (phone number, e-mail address, list serv, etc.).  Request that information regarding your child be sent to you in a separate communication from the other parent.  Let the teacher know that you would like copies of your child’s report cards as well.
  • Attend parent – teacher conferences.  If you are a non-custodial father who does not have the best communication with your child’s mother, parent-teacher conferences are a vital way for you to connect with your child’s teacher and determine how your child is progressing in class.  It is important for you to speak with your child’s teacher on a regular basis; while the other parent may be good at helping with science and math, your strong english and social studies skills might be just what your child needs!
  • Join other Tyler parents at Community Nights.  Come out and meet other parents, especially other dads, and participate in some great parenting workshops that focus on simple ways and techniques to help you help your child succeed in school.  There’s free food and a free book giveaway so you can begin to create a library for your child at your home!!  Even if you only get visitation on the weekends, you will have your very own collection of children’s books that you can read to and with your child for some great quality time! 
  • Make yourself available for classroom field trips and in-class activities.  Children love to see their parents show up at school.  It makes them feel special and important to you.  They are always so proud to introduce you to their friends and classmates.  If your co-parenting circumstances are less than desirable, coordinate with the teacher to arrange to chaperone a specific trip or activity which the other parent is unable to make.  
  • Power Lunches!  Arrange to eat lunch with your child at school.  You can let your child “introduce” you to cafeteria food or pack a special lunch of healthy favorites.  Even if you can’t leave work long enough to grab a bite at school, if you are responsible for dropping your child off that day, pack their lunch as a special treat and include an encouraging note or just a piece of paper that says “I love you” or “you are really important to me” or “I am so proud to be your dad.”   Little things do mean a lot.   
  • Dad Development Days.  DCPS has approximately 5 professional development days scheduled this year when Tyler will be closed for the students.  All of these days are on Fridays (Sep. 18, Oct. 30, Jan. 15, Feb. 12, Mar 19).  If you can take the day off from work, contact the other parent and offer to pick your child up early that morning and spend the day with them.  Let her know you recognize it can be hard to juggle work and schedule alternate child care for those days and you would love to spend some extra time with your child.  If it’s your weekend for visitation, you get to start the day off early – if not, it’s a special treat for your child to have some more “hang time” with dad!   

disclaimer: None of these tips are meant to suggest or condone the violation of any court order which prohibits any of the actions referenced above.  If you have any questions about access to your child or their academic records, please consult a legal professional for advice.