Special Announcement

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Learning to Become the Father (and Parent) You Want to Be

How to be a father image

When both parents attend a medical appointment for their child, does the pediatrician primarily address the mother? Fathers at the WBG (both staff and spouses/partners) will have the opportunity to attend a presentation in March on the often neglected role of fathers, and why and how to encourage greater father engagement in the lives of children and families.

Allan Shedlin, founder of the DADvocacy Consulting Group, is a former educator who is passionate about the critical role of men in the raising, caring for and educating of children. Allan has conducted qualitative daddying research over two decades in three different countries, and believes that becoming the kind of parent that children want and need is within reach of almost every parent committed to trying.  "Research shows that fathers matter to kids, kids matter to fathers, and families and communities are better off when fathers and kids are positively engaged in each other's lives." (Allan Shedlin in a 2015 article for the Baltimore Sun)

WBFN has invited Allan to present a session for parents in general, and fathers, father figures, and grandfathers in particular, to help us become the parent we want to be, emphasizing:

  • what international research tells us about why dads are important to kids and kids are important to dads
  • the difference between daddying and fathering
  • the qualities that kids most desire from their dads
  • parenting resources that dads already have and may not be using
  • nurturing as a male quality too
  • what successful daddying does for the parent and the family

DADvocacy is also committed to raising awareness of the impact of absent fathers in society, the lack of men choosing childcare and early education careers, lack of equity for paternity leave, and a bias towards mothers in custody decisions.

Fathers in our WBG community come from a wide range of cultural and religious backgrounds, but Allan has noted in his own research that fathers everywhere tend to articulate the wish that their fathers had spent more time with them, which he calls daddy yearning. He adds that later in life fathers often regret not having spent enough time with their children, which is another form of daddy yearning. If you are a father, father figure, or grandfather, consider attending Allan's presentation on how to avoid this too common dual regret. And if you are a mother, consider attending to learn more parenting skills and also how the father in your family can enrich his relationship with his family.

Join us on March 16th, 12pm, Preston Auditorium, so you can set a course to become the father/parent you want to be.
Depending on the interest from dads/granddads/men playing a fatherly role, WBFN will consider organizing an on-going support group on these topics.


Allan Shedlin is a former teacher, school principal and parenting coach. He has consulted, written and spoken extensively on the topic of fatherhood, including at the White House, as well as on radio and TV. As the founder of the DADvocacy Consulting Group and REEL FATHERS as well as the founding executive director of the National Elementary School Center, he believes strongly that fathers are important to kids, kids are important to dads and families and communities are better off when fathers and children are positively engaged in each other’s lives.