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June 2018Vol. 19, No. 5Driver's Manual for New Dads

Children who have engaged fathers are more likely to have positive outcomes than children and youth who do not. These children have greater academic success, more positive social behavior, reduced contact with the juvenile justice system, and more. A Driver's Manual for New Dads: A Resource Guide for Taking Care of Your Partner and Your New Baby was released by the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance and covers many aspects and potential questions a new father may have, including the following:

  • Dealing with anxiety—Expecting a new baby can be overwhelming for new fathers. The guide suggests saving money early and looking at classified ads for used items like car seats, cribs, and clothing. It also provides information on how to get the right training to secure gainful employment.
  • Obtaining a marriage license and establishing paternity—The guide suggests taking a look at the barriers preventing marriage, such as fear of commitment and holding off until financial situations improve. Also, it is important to note that in some states if a couple is not legally married at the time of the child's birth, the father is not the child's legal father. Establishing paternity is important in ensuring a father's legal rights to his children.
  • Being involved in the baby's life, even if the parents are not together—The guide encourages fathers to be engaged in the child's life from the beginning by forging an amicable relationship with the child's mother, being with her when the baby is born, acknowledging paternity for the child, talking with the mother about plans for the baby's future, offering to help out when she needs a break, and living clean.
  • Taking care of a baby—The guide provides information on a baby's developmental process, such as what newborns can see, hear, and feel, as well as tips on how to change diapers.

This easy-to-read guide gives fathers valuable tips and suggestions that they can use in their day-to-day lives with their children. It is available at (980 KB).