Including Dads in Essential Meetings

Many dads are finding ways to assist more and be involved in the home.

While there are no barriers to taking over shopping, cleaning, and general housework, there are some societal forces that still assume moms will take on certain roles with children.

Schools and doctors’ offices are prime defenders of an outdated status quo. When the call is made reactively to mom, these organizations leave dads out of a crucial information loop.

Our dads have faced challenges of inclusion in these essential aspects of their children’s lives, so we asked them how to navigate it:

School Calls and Meetings:

Schools are meant to be hubs of not just education but also community, yet some fathers find themselves feeling excluded when it comes to school-related communication. Often, mothers are primarily addressed, sidelining fathers who are equally invested in their children’s academic success.

It’s crucial for schools to recognize this, and ensure that all parents are equally informed about their children’s progress, upcoming events, and any concerns that may arise.
But sometimes school officials need to be shown that what their doing is antiquated – ironically when it’s often working moms in the schools making these calls.

One, Dads need to put their names on the contact forms and designate themselves as available to be contacted.

Two, Dads should insist on being on calls with the school when information is being given. If there’s a meeting at school, leave work a little early to be there.
Three, ensure that communication with your spouse or partner is clear and uniform when dealing with the school.

Efforts made from both sides will only improve your interaction with your child and their education.

Doctor’s Visits:

Excluding dads from doctor’s visits can perpetuate the stereotype that dads are not attentive caregivers – or that they simply cannot be bothered with these details. (Yes, that is a real thought).

One, healthcare professionals need to recognize the importance of involving both parents in discussions about their child’s health. By doing so, they can ensure that all relevant information is shared, and that both parents are equipped to make informed decisions regarding their child’s well-being. This should be obvious but it isn’t to so many doctors who default to mom.

Two, there are many cases where only one parent is able to be present during medical appointments. However, doctors can put information on the patient portal and make it available to both parents.

Three, if you’re a dad and can’t be there, ask your spouse and partner to call in to the appointment so you hear what the doctor says and can discuss it later.
Four, speak up. Any parent who is unsure should feel free to ask and discuss medical concerns with the provider and their partner. This not only promotes inclusivity but also helps in encouraging a collaborative approach to parenting.

Breaking Stereotypes:

Excluding dads – or worse, dads excluding themselves – from school calls, meetings, doctor’s visits, and the like, perpetuates outdated gender stereotypes and reinforces the idea that mothers are solely responsible for childcare. It is essential to recognize that modern families come in various forms, and fathers play an active role in nurturing their children. This is a collaborative effort that requires change from both the families involved and the systems that are in place. By breaking free from traditional norms, we create an environment that benefits everyone – especially the children. As the saying goes – “The More You Know”.

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