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Image description: Senior Airman Thomas Hole is welcomed home by his son after returning from his deployment in May. 
Father’s Day is on Sunday, and we’re wishing all the dads out there a very happy Father’s Day.
Photo by Scott Poe, U.S. Air Force.

Image description: Senior Airman Thomas Hole is welcomed home by his son after returning from his deployment in May.

Father’s Day is on Sunday, and we’re wishing all the dads out there a very happy Father’s Day.

Photo by Scott Poe, U.S. Air Force.

Take Time to be a Dad Today

By the Administration for Children and Families

It’s hard to be a parent. That’s why Father’s Day is so important. It gives us an opportunity to thank dads who are active in their children’s lives—who accept the challenges of raising a family and reap the benefits of their children growing up in a loving environment. It is also an occasion to remember the how vital father involvement is for their children’s well-being.

Research shows that children with active, involved fathers:

  • have better problem-solving skills
  • have more empathy for others and greater self-control
  • earn higher grades
  • score better on standardized tests
  • have fewer behavioral problems
  • are less likely to become victims of child abuse

Yet, today, one out of every three children in America is living without a father in the home—about 24 million kids in this country. (Find more facts on fatherhood.)

That’s why this Father’s Day the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is encouraging all fathers to take time to be a dad today and every day by taking the President’s Fatherhood Pledge. When you sign the pledge, you’ll also be signing up to receive parenting tips and fun activities you can do with your children.

In addition to the Fatherhood Pledge, offers a toll-free number dads can call to get advice and also to connect with local fatherhood programs in their areas, 1-877-4DAD411 (1-877-432-3411).

We are also hosting Father’s Day events at more than 100 barber shops around the country on Saturday, June 15th as part of our Fatherhood Buzz program. Find a barber shop near you to meet up with other fathers and get resources to help you be the best dad you can be. 

ACF’s Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood programs are also partnering once again with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) by holding Father’s Day events at nearly 300 Public Housing Authorities across the nation. In addition to being a day full of family fun, these events connect fathers to educational and job training opportunities, health screenings, and other supportive services. Visit the HUD website for more information on Father’s Day 2013.

For Fathers: Tips for Improving Your Relationship with Your Kids

Being a good father is hard work, but you don’t have to go at it alone. There are several resources to help your children thrive in school, get along with others, and stay away from drugs and other dangerous behaviors.

A great resource is the President’s Fatherhood Pledge. By pledging, you commit to become a positive influence in the lives of your children and others who don’t have a father. You will also get updates, tips and resources about responsible fatherhood.

You can also follow these simple tips:

Spend time with them. It’s never too late to spend time with your children — and you don’t have to take time off work. You can organize activities around your days off, on the weekends, or in the mornings or evenings. Try exercising and staying active or stay home and play board games and talk about anything they want to talk about. The more time you spend with them, the stronger your relationship will be.

Tell them how much you care. Don’t be embarrassed by expressing your love to your children. Let them know you care, regardless of their age or what might have happened in the past. A hug, kiss or even a few kind words can mean a lot to children, especially when they are young. Learn more about how to talk to young children (PDF).

Create a relationship based on trust and communication. Talk openly with your children about age-appropriate subjects, including sex. Become their confidant and let them know that they can trust you to talk about anything. Read more about what other fathers are doing by visiting the DadTalk blog on

Protect them but give them their space. With the Internet and advances in technology, today’s world is probably very different from the one you grew up in. Give your children their space but also teach them about the risks of socializing online. has many resources to help you protect your kids online. Also, make sure your children know that they can come to you if they have any questions about what they find online.

Set Limits. Teach your children to follow rules from a young age and respect others. This will help them get along with their peers. Participating in organized sports (PDF) is a great way for them to learn teamwork, discipline, and confidence while having fun. Speak firmly to them when you need to, and let them know when they have violated the rules of your home.

Read this post in Spanish.

Learn about the history of the holiday and find ideas to celebrate dad.