Archive for August, 2010

CTF’s Fatherhood Initiative’s Ten Tips for being a Great Dad

1. Respect Your Child’s Mother.                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

 If you are married, keep your marriage strong and vital. If you aren’t married, it is still important to respect and support the mother of your children.

2. Spend time with your children.
How a father spends his time tells his children what’s important to him. By sharing time with your children, you tell them they are important to you.

3. Earn the right to be heard.
Too often a father only speaks to his children when they have done something wrong. Begin talking with your kids when they are young, praise them and take time to listen to their ideas and problems.

4. Discipline with love.
All children need guidance and discipline, not as punishment, but to set reasonable limits. Remind your children of the consequences of their actions and provide meaningful rewards for good behavior.

5. Read to your children.
Begin reading to your children when they are very young. Instilling your children with a love for reading is one of the best ways to ensure they will have a lifetime of personal and career growth.

6. Show affection.
Children need the security that comes from knowing they are wanted and loved by their family. Parents, especially fathers, need to feel comfortable and willing to hug their children. Showing affection every day is the best way to let your children know that you love them.

7. Eat together as a family.
Sharing a meal together can be an important part of family life. It gives kids the chance to talk about what they are doing and is a good time for fathers to listen and give advice.

8. Be a teacher and a role model.
A father will see his children make good choices because he has taught them about right and wrong and encouraged them to do their best. By demonstrating honesty, humility and responsibility, fathers can show their children what is important in life. A daughter who grows up with a loving father learns that she deserves to be treated with respect.

9. Realize that a father’s job is never done.
Even after children are grown and leave the home, they will still look to their fathers for wisdom and advice. Fathers continue to play an essential part in the lives of their children as they make decisions about education, jobs, marriage and starting their own families.

10. Reach out to other parents for support.
Discuss parenting with other parents – both moms and dads. Share ideas, solve problems, find out what other parents are doing to tackle issues of discipline, safety, and communication. Get to know the parents of your kid’s friends. Consider joining or starting a dads’ group in your area. You can learn a lot, find support and camaraderie and enjoy parenting more when you are friends with other parents.

Source: click here.

Making Amends…

This is an excerpt of Jennifer Owens, (Reginald’s sister) sharing with her father, Leroy Cox at a Family Day in Rochester NY. She is dressed in African garb, because she had just come back from S. Africa and was sharing thoughts on her journey there. We are sharing this excerpt because as a father, it’s important we recognize the power of making amends. There are many things in life we can never go back and change. We need to forgive ourselves, forgive others, learn to trust again and move beyond our fears.

Here’s my sister’s testimony of how her father’s love helped heal her:

The Unspoken Father.

No one wants to talk about him. Hardly  anyone acknowledges him, but he still exists.

The father with the broken heart.  The father that wants to see his children, but he cannot. The one that thinks of his children daily, but cannot spend time with them. The one who is barred from seeing them, for no particular reason – other than he and the mother don’t get along.  The one who longs to be with them, thinks about them daily, cries for them, but cannot see them.

Do you know anyone who has this dilemma? Who is separated from his children  but not by choice? There are many fathers out there with this concern and they long for governments and agencies to fight for them, as well.

Pray for the father without access to their children.

Once I worked as a social worker with a child a little girl who came to school crying because she could not see her daddy.  The absence in her heart for her father, was immense. It hurt. And her pain became my own as I sought to help her find resolve. I too had a father without access, but it was due to the enemy of alcoholism. Thankfully, he stopped after several years,  and today our relationship has healed, but it hurt for a while, too.

Children need their fathers and so also does the father need his children. His heart aches too.

Author: JenRene Owens

photographer: Terri Heisele




My name is Reggie L. Cox and I am the Founder of the Fatherhood Connection, we are starting a pilot program in the Livingston Region that is designed to support men who are fathers or who are currently serving as a father figure to a child.  “Fathers Matter to Kids!” is a support group committed to developing lasting and fulfilling relationships between fathers and their children.

Currently, I am collaborating with existing agencies, community centers, faith-based institutions and private individuals who recognize that strengthening the relationships between fathers and children can have a major impact in the future success of those children and in the success of future generations.  This program will be open to men of all ages, free of charge, on a completely voluntary basis.  I currently operate a similar program in the Monroe County & Genesee County area that has helped a number of men enhance their relationships with their children and with the mothers of their children, which has ultimately improved the functioning of the entire family.           

Our kick-off meeting for the Livingston Region has already occurred.  

 We would be grateful for any contributions that anyone might be able to make. We would really appreciate your support as we begin this pilot program in your county. 

If you can help, please contact Reggie L. Cox at; or Steve Fugle  at at your earliest convenience.

Thank You!

Have A Blessed day!

Each of us longs for the Fathers Love & Acceptance.

The absence of a mature father-child connection creates a void in the soul, a residual “father hunger.”

Father hunger is the result of receiving too little quality fathering as a child or young adult. Some argue that even grown men and women need fathers or father surrogates and that the absence of such role modeling and support is associated with less fulfillment in life. In general, father hunger results from too little intimacy between child and father.

In contemporary psychoanalytic theory, the notion of “father hunger” has been introduced by James M. Herzog to address the unconscious longing experienced by many males and females for an involved father. According to Herzog, the father plays the intrapsychic role as the modulator of aggressive drives and fantasies. Children or adults who experience father hunger yearns for a figure that can help them formulate their response to aggression and tolerate trauma.

Herzog began by studying 18- to 28-month-old boys whose night terrors were found to be associated with the loss of their fathers through separation or divorce. He suggested that these boys needed their fathers to help manage their rapprochement-stage aggressive impulses. The absence of this paternal help led the boys to turn their aggression towards their selves and then to project it in the form of their fears at night.

Herzog continued linking aggression to father loss two years later, when he noted that children of both genders had problems modulating their aggression after they had lost their fathers through divorce. This finding led him to posit a new developmental role for the father—the regulation of aggressive drive and fantasy.

“The father wound is epidemic among us,” says Gordon Dalbey. As a result, we see unfathered men growing up armored with a counterfeit of masculinity. But until their sons face the reality of their emotional abandonment, they may never seek the healing they need.

The father-wound is most often a wound of absence–emotional as well as physical. As such, it’s harder to recognize than others.

In the souls of men, the weapon of destruction is shame. When Dad doesn’t embrace, encourage, guide, and protect him, a boy grows up thinking, “Dad doesn’t value me. I must not be worth much.” He doesn’t feel like a real man, confident that he belongs in the world, with both a destiny and the power at hand to fulfill it. He feels tremendous shame and anger at being abandoned in his deepest need.

Distrusting himself and other men, he’s easily suckered into a counterfeit masculinity, from fast sex and alcohol to isolation and violence. Hence, prisons are bulging. Yet even the average, law-abiding man today hasn’t had a father who said, “You’re my son and I love you,” or who helped him discover his unique talents and abilities. As a small boy in a large world of men, he’s imprisoned by bars of shame from father-abandonment, unable to fulfill his destiny.. He’s misfocused with his muscles, intelligence and energies destructively instead of creatively.

He doesn’t want to hide his wound; he wants to heal it. He wants to face and overcome his inadequacies, so he can fulfill his calling as a man, husband, father, worker, and citizen. He’s willing to confess, “I don’t need a beer, my boss’ approval, a sexual encounter, a gun, a race to hate, or a million dollars. I need a father!”

To break the crippling generational cycle of shame and destruction, at least two steps are necessary.

First, a man must forgive his father for wounding him. Often this happens as the man dares to see the awful brokenness in his dad which fueled the wounding. A boy cries FROM his father’s wound; dad hurts you, and you cry. But a real man cries FOR his father’s wounds, feeling his dad’s pain instead of stuffing it and acting out inappropriately.

Secondly, we men need to begin fathering ourselves through a community of support. The fatherless man today can begin to trust himself and reclaim his destiny as a man among men by getting together with other men and talking honestly about his brokenness and strengths. The shame flees when you discover you’re not alone, that we’re all in this together. The wolf loves the lone sheep.

There are 7 core issues for Father Hunger: ALL LEAD TOWARD ABANDONMENT ISSUES

1.) Divorce  2.) Death  3.) Abuse  4.) Addiction 5.) Single Mothering  6.) Traditional Fathering 7.) Adoption

The chance of the 1st marriage ending in divorce is 50%, by some estimates!

Spiritual Hunger or Thirst  / spiritual draught  / spiritual destitution Amos 8:11 – 13

Their children enter the world like tiny sponges, ready to absorb every little impression about themselves and their identity. They are unsure of who they are: Am I special? they ask. Am I valuable? Am I good? Am I merely an annoyance? Their fathers play a primary role in answering those questions.

Just what do you mean by ‘father hunger’?

By “father hunger” I mean the profound, but usually unconscious longing for affirmation and limits from male authority figures.  The most common words people use to describe their relationships with their fathers are “absence,” “sadness” and “I don’t know him.”  Men have not been given the permission or the skills to pass on who they are to their children.  We often know what makes fathers angry, but not the deep desires and dreams of their hearts, much less their loneliness and hurt.  That vacuum creates a similar emptiness in the hearts of sons and daughters.  Dad is an unnameable mystery, which only calls forth fear, doubt and sometimes endless rebellion.

Gordon Dalbey is the author of Healing the Masculine Soul and Sons of the Father: Healing the Father-Wound in Men Today. He lives in Santa Barbara, CA, and may be reached at .