Findings from the rapidly growing science of early childhood and brain development show that a father’s active participation and emotional engagement with his children leads to improved social, emotional, behavioral, and academic outcomes. The research confirms that a father’s emotional engagement — not the amount of time fathers spend with children, rather how they interact with them — leads to multiple positive outcomes, and serves as a significant protective factor against high risk behaviors in both girls and boys. This holds true for resident and nonresident fathers alike. For example:

  • More frequent father engagement in their child’s literacy and education results in higher achievement levels in reading and math for the children.
  • Positive father engagement is associated with lower levels of impulsivity, higher ratings of self-control, and better stress tolerance.
  • Fathers who become involved in school settings early in their children’s lives are more likely to stay engaged longer.

At The Fatherhood Project at Massachusetts General Hospital, we believe that educators working with families in schools have an unprecedented opportunity to utilize these important findings and dispel the myth that fathers are somehow unimportant or unnecessary to raising healthy children. Our work with schools focuses on:

  1. Strengthening the essential emotional connection between fathers and their children in the early years by offering the opportunity to have fun together while learning and practicing lifelong relationship skills.
  2. Educating the parent community about the positive impact fathers have on child outcomes when they are actively involved in children’s lives at home and school.
  3. Empowering school and parent leaders to create a more father-inclusive school environment.
*The words ‘dad’ and ’father’ are meant to be inclusive of any adult primary or
significant caregiver, including but not limited to stepfathers, uncles, mentors, grandfathers, etc.


John’s work engaging dads in schools and family life couldn’t be more timely and important.
Dr. Michael Thompson Author of New York Times Best-Seller Raising Cain
I sincerely enjoyed every aspect of the workshops, especially the time my daughter and I had to connect…She was so proud of this picture of us working together.
Cedric, Dad of 7 year old
Your workshop provided a great venue for dads to emotionally connect with their children… It also invigorated our school to seek further father involvement opportunities.
Tanna Horner, Head of the Lower School The Out of Doors Academy, FL
John’s powerful message is as vital to women as it is men. It’s no exaggeration to say that this compelling presentation could save some lives.
Dr. Jean Kilbourne Author of So Sexy So Soon
The workshop and discussion afterwards included some of the most meaningful interactions I've ever had with my child.
Father, Dialogues with Dad
John’s program here was a great success. It gave dads and daughters the opportunity to discuss issues they’ve been wanting to talk about.
Carla Young, Cranbrook Schools, MI
I learned about his past in school and about his relationship with his dad. I think we will communicate better now.
6th Grader
John’s workshop unlocked the door to areas of discussion that hadn’t been entered before, other than on a superficial basis. I thank John for one of the great evenings as a parent
Father of an 8th grader
John, thanks again for the great presentation and your guidance in starting the Charlotte Prep Dad's Club. We just had our follow-up Steering Committee meeting and from feedback we received, we want our first event to be an extension of some of the exercises you conducted.
Vince Luciani, CPS Dad's Club, Charlotte Prep School, NC

Connect with The Fatherhood Project Friend us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter