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The Father Factor


14 Critical Issues to Discuss With Moms

Posted by Ryan Sanders

I've been been married over 12 years. I get it. It takes two people, working their butts off, to make this parenting thing work. The end-goal has to be the child's best interest. But sometimes, that's easier said than done. Especially if mom and dad aren't married...or even "together".

You, the fatherhood leader, know this all too well. If mom isn't on board with dad being involved, his hands seem to be tied. The most well-meaning dad can only do so much if mom isn't willing to come half-way.

So, the biggest questions become: How do I convince a mother to allow the father to be more involved? How can I talk about dad being involved when mom seems so angry at dad? How do I talk with a mom who can’t seem to say one nice thing about the father of their children?

To help answer these questions, we've created a new resource for practitioners working with families to discuss 14 critical issues with moms around involving dads. It's a tool that helps practitioners feel equipped and confident to talk with moms about the tough issues of relationships and parenting. Let's talk about it...


What are the 14 Critical Issues to Discuss with Moms?

  1. Co-Parenting
  2. Gender Communication
  3. Dad's Importance to Child Well-Being
  4. Restrictive Maternal Gatekeeping
  5. For Your Children's Sake
  6. Trusting Dad
  7. Mutual Respect
  8. Conflict Resolution
  9. Power and Control
  10. Angry with Dad
  11. When Dad is Absent
  12. Family of Origin
  13. Discipline of Children
  14. Listening

How did we identify the 14 Critical Issues?

  • Discussions with staff and practitioners that work with mothers, fathers, and families during our more than 20 years providing programs, resources, training, and technical assistance
  • The results of a survey of more than 350 staff and practitioners we conducted in December 2014 in which we asked them to identify the most critical topics to address in helping mothers encourage father involvement in the lives of children.

How could you use this guide?

14 Critical Issues to Discuss with Moms is a guide to help staff in direct service organizations (think volunteers, coaches, and counselors) confidently work with moms of any race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic background to improve the relationship with the father of their children

The issues covered in this resource are especially helpful for working with custodial mothers who do not live with the father of their children (i.e. he is non-residential and non-custodial), but you will find it is helpful regardless of the couples’ romantic status and living arrangements. The content carefully focuses on what moms can control in the relationship with the father of their children.

As for layout, the guide covers each topic in two to four pages. Each session contains background information on the topic and several important factors to keep in mind when working with mothers, followed by key learning objectives and questions that mothers should ask themselves based on the topic and the key learning objective.

While the guide addresses working with mothers one on one, you can apply the content to working with mothers in small and large-group settings. You can also use it to design lectures, workshops, seminars, or other activities for mothers.

Sound interesting? Download the sample and find out more details by visiting 14 Critical Issues to Discuss with Moms.

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