>Fatherhood is developmental.
As a part of research done for the National Center on Fathers and Families, a research study by Barnhill, Rubenstein, and Rocklin presents the following developmental tasks that should occur for fathers at conception, during pregnancy, and after the birth of a child:
1. Decision-making (to have a child)
2. Mourning (for loss of freedom)
3. Empathic responding (during pregnancy and labor)
4. Integrating the new baby into family life
5. Establishing new boundaries and differentiating from extended family
6. Synergizing (establishing new balance and improving on the first 5 tasks)
We think a lot about how the baby develops in the womb and how the mother changes as pregnancy progresses. But there are changes in fathers as well that must be attended to.
Effective fathering is absent from the history of many men who themselves become fathers. It is important to understand that growth and development can and should occur in preparation to become a father, and that fathers do not have to fall into a rut of poor fathering from their own past.
Change is possible and achievable to become the father your children need.