Take Time to Be a Dad Today [Video]

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Working Dad An estimated 24 million children (34 percent) in the U.S. live apart from their fathers, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and most working dads don't feel that they spend enough quality time with their children.

This Father's Day, a new public service campaign is being launched to give a working dad some ideas for bonding with their kids. The message is, "The smallest moments can have the biggest impact on a child's life. Take time to be a dad today."

"The president has said there is no more important job he or any other man can have than being a father," said Joshua DuBois, special assistant to the president and executive director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

The campaign, a joint effort between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Administration for Children and Families, the Office of Family Assistance and the Ad Council, is attempting to show fathers the unique and irreplaceable role that they play in their children's lives. This year's campaign focuses on military and Hispanic fathers.

The U.S. Census reports that 34 percent (slightly higher than the national average) of Hispanic children live in father-absent homes; while more than 1.8 million children of military dads suffer from the unique stresses of military life.<

Whether they live together or just see each other occasionally, research shows that kids benefit greatly when their fathers are actively involved in their lives. The Responsible Fatherhood campaign urges fathers to be proactive and not wait for their children to ask them to read them a book, play a game, or sit down together for a meal -- but take the lead. Spending time with your children can energize the relationship and create a stronger bond between a father and child.

No matter how swamped you are at work or how hard you're trying to stretch your paycheck, the campaign suggests the following fun and budget friendly ways for busy fathers to bond with their kids:

  • Create small moments that bring big rewards. Go for a walk, read a story, cook dinner, play a video game or board game, color a picture, or do a crossword puzzle with your child. These everyday activities are easy, affordable and can spark conversation, laughter and lasting memories.
  • Be a digital dad. Send your child a text message for no reason at all, other than to say, "I love you," or "Great job on the test."
  • Come and get it. Eat meals with your children -- create an opportunity to give your child your full attention. It's a time to share news about your lives, have discussions and make plans for your family.

Next:Get a Life! 17 Ways to a Better Work/Life Balance


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