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Entries in fathers (6)


A life changing journey to Loch Ness 

Storytelling is a very powerful way of exploring issues, and FNF Scotland has heard about a forthcoming session that should be of interest to fathers.

On Saturday 16th May at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, storyteller and writer Tim Porteus will tell the tale that will soon form part of his forthcoming novel.
The Storyteller, the Boy and the Road of Legends is the story of a life changing journey to Loch Ness by a nine year old boy called Fin. He is accompanied by his uncle and they camp or sleep out under the stars as they slowly make their way to the loch.
Along the way the uncle tells the stories and legends that path the way, and their adventure is contrasted to the speeding tourists who fly by on the same route, but are most definately on a different journey. Fin, at first reluctant, slowly becomes enthralled by the tales and the landscape.
If you love stories of drovers, old highland ways, giants, saints and supernatural goings on then this is a show for you. But be aware, more is going on that you think. The stories are more than Fin realises, and his uncle's purpose will be revealed at the journey's end.
At Loch Ness an encounter challenges everything Fin believes. He is forced to realise that people are not always as they seem. But have the stories helped him understand what his uncle has done, and why?  


Research shows importance of fathers (for mice)

Although you might not get away with citing this as evidence in the family court, a recent animal study has shown how the lack of a father affects social attributes.

New findings from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre show that the absence of a father during critical growth periods leads to impaired social and behavioural abilities in adults. This research, which was conducted using mice,  is the first study to link father absenteeism with social attributes and to correlate these with physical changes in the brain.

The study used California mice which, like in some human populations, are monogamous and raise their offspring together.

The study compared the social behaviour and brain anatomy of mice that had been raised with both parents to those that had been raised only by their mothers. Mice raised without a father had abnormal social interactions and were more aggressive than counterparts raised with both parents. These effects were stronger for female offspring than for their brothers.

These results should incite researchers to look more deeply into the role of fathers during critical stages of growth and suggest that both parents are important in children’s mental health development.


Kids Without Dads programme

ITV's Tonight programme on Thursday 28th August looked at fatherlessness, following the recent Centre for Social Justice report on fractured families.

Recent research has shown that the number of lone parent families is on the rise in UK with over 1 million children living without any formal contact with their father. In certain areas of the country, young people are more likely to have a mobile phone in their pocket than a dad.

Fiona Foster travels up and down the country to find out about the impact of family breakdown and father absence. The UK rates as one of the top three countries in Europe with the highest number of single mums. Figures show that 2.8 million children live with their mother as the sole parent.

The programme explores the issues and prejudices li both mothers and fathers, highlighting the problems that are caused by the lack of male involvement in many children's lives. 

Maybe no surprises in this programme, but it did manage to convey some strong messages about the importance of fathers and the barriers that many face to stay involved.


Asking the questions about the role of fathers

Why do mums stay at home and dads go to work? Why do some women treat men like idiots around babies? Where are all the ‘new fathers’ we hear so much about?

This new book from Gideon Burrows suggests answers to the above questions and explores the facts and myths surrounding the role of fathers.

Although it is written from the viewpoint of shared parenting within an intact relationship, it raises interesting questions for those who are trying to make shared parenting work after separation.  They will certainly challenge one of his statements - that most men just don't want to look after children.

In his introduction Gideon states: "This book aims to show parents the how and why of a fairer parenting deal. I hope it provides inspiration to those who would like to do it, evidence for those who need to be convinced it is right and possible, argument for those who aren’t convinced it’s a problem, and practical ideas for those who just don’t know how to do it."


A Man's Place - conference report

"Why don't we have services for pregnant fathers?" was one of the many questions raised at a packed conference - A Man's Place- in Glasgow organised by Children in Scotland on November 20th.

Becoming a father may not have the same physical symptoms as shown by pregnant women, but pregnancy has just as much impact on men as on women.

Men and women should be recognised as equal partners pre- and post- birth with as much support for men – emotionally, socially, physically – as for women.

Fathers are not ‘optional’ extras - involvement leads to positive long term outcomes including improved relationships; less substance abuse, less incarceration and increased educational attainment.

A number of international studies and reports all call for increased male involvement in care, and parenting, as a result of these measurable results.

The Scottish Government speaker at the conference emphasised that they have a commitment to make policies more “Dad friendly” in the new National Parenting Strategy.  Families Need Fathers Scotland is taking part in the Father's Roundtable meetings to oversee this commitment.