Charles F. Ehrhardt, Director of DadDay Seminars and Services, is on the Parent Education Faculty at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital and a consultant at New York Presbyterian Hospital. He delivers colloquia for New York University Graduate School; has delivered the “Lunchtime Lecture Series” for Viacom (The Importance of Fathers); and created workshops for clinicians on fatherhood roles for the Training Institute for Mental Health. He has been in private practice for over 20 years in New York City. He is also a father.
I understand the varying needs of fathers and families, which is why in my DadDay seminars I also provide referrals to adjunct professionals in order to meet the needs of new families. These professionals offer services that include individual, couple, and marital counseling and therapy; child development evaluations; and conflict resolution counseling.
It is not feasible any longer, in the light of research in the past 20 years, to assume you can "do" fatherhood "on the fly", by instinct, or what your parents thought was the only way; and anyway one doesn't "do" fathering, one becomes a 24/7 father.
You must READ! Knowing what is happening at the moment to your child developmentally will provide you with the tools for maximum appropriate response, which in turn satisfies both biological and psychological needs of your child for minimum frustration to both child and parents.
Communication skills! Talk w/your partner about aspirations for all three of you (more if multiples) i.e.: religion, education, location etc., as well as emotional stresses, individual responsibilities, expectations of each other. Build further trust and security.
The bonding process, and quality time and the management of work/parenting balance. Most importantly, why FATHER has his own unique influence on the child's developmental progress and is complementary to the Mother's role---in both boys and girls!
How and why do the child's needs change in the subsequent development stages thru late adolescence; what are the most essential behavioral and emotional responses that will give your child the tools to become the success s/he wants to achieve and give you the sense of accomplishment that no other endeavor can.
WHAT ARE THE PRIMARY OBJECTIVES OF THE SEMINAR, AND WHAT ARE THE SUBJECTS WE WILL ADDRESS.
Primarily, the seminar is designed to make the transition to parenthood as stress free as possible by explaining what you might expect and providing some research proven suggestions to reduce trial and error approaches. Some of the more exasperating situations like work/family balance, finances, and the changes in interpersonal relationships with spouses, extended family, and friendships will be discussed.
More importantly, the role of the father's importance in both son's and daughter's lives will be examined from the point( s ) of view from developmental psychology: this simply means how fathers' presence impacts their emotional stability and growth, as well as their social skills, cognitive abilities, physical prowess, and intellectual accomplishment.
Additionally, some of the unique challenges that fathers face at times will be discussed, i.e.: fathers often seen as the "secondary" parent; the assumption that mothers are biologically more fit to parent; parenting per se is not a "masculine" endeavor; and work environments that have little respect for Dads who want family time.
Finally, we will look at the "long view" of fathers impact on their children over time, based on research in the last 20 years; i.e.: what success looks like in the kids whose Dads were involved. And finally, how do fathers themselves change and what is the return on this challenging and often exhaustive process.