What New Fathers Need

Center for Research About Paternal Issues (CRAPI)
A father centric journal in a mother centric world to help new families soar.  Our observational study consists of three decades of helping new moms and dads build their families. 

Our role is to bring men with the common challenge of fatherhood together to learn from each other. This is how we men have learned since the beginning of humanity; fatherhood is just getting back to this. 

The difference between our dads as “rookie” dads-to-be and “veteran” new dads is striking. They transform into different men, but they don’t have much of a clue as to how. When I ask our veterans how they did it, all they can say is “one day at a time”. If we showed them a video of themselves as a rookie, they would be surprised at how far they have come. We are starting to get the videos to show new rookies and looking deeper into how they did it.

Based upon our 3 decades of experience and the research, our theory is that if a man becoming a father gets what he needs, he will deliver. He transforms into a different, better man, and capitalizes on the huge potential that we fathers have for our families. This applies to all fathers, including our high-risk counterparts; I have never met a father who wouldn’t like to do a better job for his children. 

What Men Becoming Fathers Need

1. Respect for Their Desire to Man Up for Their Baby & Family

Men thrive on respect, and our rookies get it from the veterans. Otherwise, they are largely subjected to a flood of pressure on meeting mom’s needs with an underlying negative societal perspective due to decades of trashing of fathers. 

2. Information/Advice/Encouragement from Fathers They Trust 

From BCND, BaseCamp, their friends, brothers. Only 5% ask their own fathers, who feel they have little to offer. The web’s offering to dads-to-be is very limited; initially successful new dad forums closed after being overrun by mothers.

3. Confidence

After 3 hours our rookies leave our workshops saying “I can do this” (we need a psychologist’s perspective on how this occurs). Confidence helps drive us men to overcome our challenges.

4. Proactivity Re: Their Challenges as Fathers

Knowing what to do and the confidence to do it replaces anxiety, which clears their mental decks for action. One of our Coaches just delivered a paper on this at Oxford University; anxiety is widely understood as a hurdle to learning and acting.

5. The Little Big One: His Baby

Watching his child’s birth and their instinctual stare down when he holds her for the first time appears to biologically trigger a surge in his commitment to care for his child, no matter what. Holding, burping, changing, feeding, and taking her out alone her gives him booster shots. Winning back the heart of a new mom peaks when she sees him giving her baby a bath. 

6. Respect and Appreciation from Mom

Mom’s impact is next to that of babies for a new dad doing his best. If a mom-to-be learns the value of his way to caring for her baby and about her instinct to gatekeep, she will do a lot less and back off when he calls her on it. We established Boot Camp for New Moms so they would understand and appreciate the new dad in their life to bring out the best in him.

7.    Other Men Doing the Job Around Them

We learn from and are motivated by dads. This is slowly increasing with huge potential if encouraged and facilitated. “Around them” today includes online, where dad forums are weak and scarce. 

8. Support for Their Tougher Challenges

Like smoking, depression, anger, and substance abuse, as well as employment, counseling, and other support with a good track record with “high-risk” dads.

9. Respect from Society

Fathers are slowly building this though their actions; fathers need to organize to promote respect like women have.

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