Thursday, January 27, 2005

Support for Stay-At-Home Dads

A friend of mine called a few minutes ago to let me know that Dr. Phil was doing a segment on a stay-at-home father. Curious, I flipped it on and watched. It turns out that the dad wasn't feeling very secure in his role as the at-home parent, to the point of feeling emasculated, and was seeking some advice.

Dr. Phil suggested that his problem was primarily an "internal dialogue" that did not place much worth on his role as a stay-at-home parent. He suggested that the dad look at his role in a different light, that being at home was important and probably the most impactful thing he could do for his sons. The father also made several remarks about the lack of adult conversation and interaction in his life as well. Dr. Phil advised joining an adult study group or club to help alleviate the feeling of isolation.

I am not a psychologist, but I would recommend that he seek out some other stay-at-home dads. It's been my experience that there's no substitute for being able to talk and share your experiences with others who are in similar circumstances.

I have been an at-home father for nearly four years now, and have to say joining a local stay-at-home dad group has been incredibly rewarding for me. We get together for playgroups (I host one every Wednesday morning) and trips to parks, playgrounds, museums, etc. We even have an occasional dads night out. You can find local dads' group by doing a web search, or check out the At-Home Dad Newsletter, Rebel Dad or Slowlane.

I also organize weekly and monthly events for stay-at-home dads through Meetup (a website that helps connect people with similar interests, like stay-at-home dads, in a particular area - it's free too, though if you pay a fee you can get added features).

Or, if getting together in the real world isn't for you, there are also a number of online dads' groups (see my sidebar for links to some).

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