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CHKD Blog

Dad and baby daughter in the kitchen using tablet

Building Community with Dads

Author: Z. Andrew Jatau
Published Date: Tuesday, August 25, 2020

A couple years ago, I wrote a blog titled Connecting with New Dads, which spoke about the importance of communicating and building community among fathers. In this blog, I wrote about how dads often refrain from sharing their true feelings and show up as if they have everything figured out in regard to fatherhood. The events of the past few months have made me recognize the continued importance of reaching out for support and connection from other dads.

Kids out of school combined with remote working have led to increased time spent at home with our families. Although this has created additional opportunities for family bonding, it has also escalated the levels of stress in the home. As parents, our roles have shifted, and we are now faced with increased demands and responsibilities, which can lead to sadness, anxiety, or guilt. You might feel guilty when you’re annoyed by your kid’s behaviors or when you have thoughts of wanting to get away. You could be anxious about the magnitude of the current situation and the uncertainty of the future. You could also be experiencing a sense of grief as you reflect on the changes in plans and expectations that you created for the year. You might feel sad as you watch your children struggle with the transition of being disconnected from school, peers, and social activities.

We are all feeling the impact of the pandemic in one way or another. Whenever we experience such intense emotions, it can be easy to assume that we are alone in our struggles. But now, more than ever, it is important to make efforts to communicate our feelings and look for support from others going through the same thing. Admitting our struggles and the challenges brought on by this pandemic can, in itself, be a relief. Being honest about our challenges can also create an invitation for others to relate and open up about theirs.

With efforts to physically distance, trying to make connections with others can be difficult. While it’s not ideal, it is possible to connect digitally. Take advantage of an upcoming virtual Fatherhood 101 course, designed specifically for new and expectant fathers. This is a chance to meet other local dads and develop community as you learn more about beginning your journey as a father. If this class is right for you, I encourage you to register here and join us on October 3 from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

Make sure to sign up for our Dads in Action updates so you don’t miss additional virtual opportunities for fathers of children of all ages.



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About Z. Andrew Jatau

I currently work as a mental health counselor at my private practice in Virginia Beach. In 2015, I founded a business called Mylemarks that focuses on creating tools for healthy social and emotional development in children. I have also authored three workbooks for the company. When I’m not working, I enjoy hanging with the family, playing or watching sports, and listening to music.