Every time this Public Service Announcement, tagged #makeamoment, comes on, I smile and giggle. The PSA says: It Only Takes a Moment to Make a Moment so encourages “Take time to be a dad.”
The PSA (also available at https://youtu.be/1pkIPKmyXz4) has been playing on television stations several times in an hour on some shows. (As it plays, I wonder if there is one for moms to be encouraged?)
I bet, like me, your memories kicked in as you reviewed it and that you remember an exact laughter fest with your own little ones. Mine is middle aged now, but my memories are so sweet from that first year. From my classes in Early Childhood Development I already knew that touching and tickling and holding the baby were important to the development of a healthy child. I had also learned it earlier in my life when I was a big sister to my littlest sister.
Writing in a 2012 Psychology Today article (Father Absence, Father Deficit, Father Hunger) author Edward Kruck Ph.D. says that fathers in our society of broken families and impoverished families need extra support from the communities. He also gives these insights into a father’s absence and that impact on children: without a father children are prone to “diminished self-concept” and “compromised physical and emotional security”; behavioral problems and socialization; delinquency and truancy as well as anxiety, and unhappiness; promiscuity and teen pregnancies; homelessness and substance abuse.
Kruck also writes, “Given the fact that these and other social problems correlate more strongly with fatherlessness than with any other factor, surpassing race, social class and poverty, father absence may well be the most critical social issue of our time.”
At the website for the PSA www.fatherhood.gov, downloadable toolkits provide information, self-help steps, and support resources for the father/parent wanting to #makeamoment. It has some fresh ideas on family game nights and showing your dad that you love him.
In a December 2018 article in Fatherly, Joshua A. Krisch reports, “Children with involved dads are less likely to break the law and drop out of school. Guided by close relationships with father figures, these kids disproportionately grow up to avoid risky sex, pursue healthy relationships, and hold down high-paying jobs. They’re unlikely to become homeless or rely on welfare and more likely to have higher IQ scores than their peers by age three. Longer term, they suffer from fewer psychological problems and may be less prone to obesity.”
Being a dad, a mom, a guardian, and family, takes time and lots of love. This PSA stands out to me because of the joy plastered all across the faces of this dad and baby.
Have you hugged your children today?
—Nelda Curtiss is a retired college professor who enjoys writing and fine arts. Contact her at [email protected]