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Father playing on the floor with his son

Dads in Action

Author: Z. Andrew Jatau, LPC
Published Date: Thursday, December 20, 2018

I’m very excited about a new CHKD program that I will be running next year called Dads in Action. This initiative is an opportunity for dads to learn skills, meet other fathers, and enhance their relationships with their children. I wanted to take time to write about the importance of active fatherhood and to share the big plans that are in store for 2019.

Many studies show the long-term benefits for children when they have an involved father in the home. When a father is available and active, kids show improved self-esteem, behaviors, and academic performance. The positive effects continue into adulthood. Children with active fathers are more likely to have healthy social-emotional development. They are also more likely to enjoy long-lasting relationships and successful careers as adults. Dads also benefit from developing healthy connections with their children. Providing care for children has been shown to increase levels of empathy in men and improve their ability to form rewarding human connections.

With such significant benefits, active fatherhood is something that should be supported and celebrated. The Dads in Action program was created to do just that! It is designed to help new dads transition to their fatherhood role. It will also help all dads create community with each other and provide opportunities for positive interactions between dads and their kids.

The Dads in Action initiative offers programs for all dads, wherever they may be on their fatherhood journey. See below for more information.


Fatherhood 101 classes are an opportunity for new and expectant fathers to learn ways to keep their babies safe and healthy. Led by a CHKD pediatrician and myself, this class will also focus on effective strategies to navigate the changing relationships that come along with fatherhood.


Dad Talks provides a space for dads in every stage of parenting to come together to discuss the challenges and successes they’ve encountered on their unique fatherhood journeys. Dads can share experiences, gain feedback and support, and connect with other fathers in the community.


Dad's Day Out are social activities held in the community where fathers and their kids get together for fun outings like going to the movies, hiking, bowling, or playing at the park. This is a great opportunity to spend time enjoying your children and meeting other dads.


DAD - Dad Appreciation Day - is an annual community event that will be open to all dads and their families to enjoy food, games, prizes, entertainment, crafts and activities.  

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About Z. Andrew Jatau, LPC

About Z. Andrew  Jatau, LPC

Z. Andrew is a Licensed Professional Counselor and the founder of Mylemarks, an online company that develops social-emotional resources to use with kids and teens. Through that company, he creates content such as digital downloads, workbooks, and children’s books. He’s an adjunct professor in the Human Services department at Old Dominion University, and serves as the Fatherhood Consultant for CHKD’s Dads in Action program. When he’s not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, cooking, and listening to music.