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For Dads Who Don’t Live With Their Kids

Fathers are an important part of their children’s lives.

When fathers are involved, children are more likely to:

  1. Be drug free;

  2. Graduate from high school;

  3. Stay out of jail;

  4. Delay pregnancy; and

  5. Earn more money as adults.

Getting Around the Obstacles

Do you and your child’s mother seem to argue every time you see each other?

Ask her to drop the child off at a friend or relative’s house so you can pick him up there.

Are child support issues getting in the way?

The emotional support you give your child can be just as important as your financial support. It is important to keep the two issues separate. Stay involved.

Do you have a hard time planning things to do with your child?

You don’t have to be "entertainment-dad." You can:

  1. Wash your car together

  2. Play a computer/board game

  3. Go to a museum

  4. Throw a ball around

  5. Take a walk

  6. Watch a movie

  7. Read a book

It is important that you spend time with your child.

Tips for being a part of your child’s life:

Say good things about your child in front of his or her friends.

Read a story to your child and include both of you in it. If you live far away, record yourself reading a story, then send the book and tape to your child.

Touch your child’s shoulder or arm when you talk to him or her.

Ask your child for a hug – even if he or she is a teenager.

Tell your child about a special quality you see in him or her.

Phone your child before he or she goes to bed just to say good night.

Put an encouraging note in the textbook of your child’s hardest subject.

Find Out More. . .

People aren’t born knowing how to be a good parent. Here are some things you can do to learn about becoming a good father.

Think about your father’s parenting. Which of his qualities do you want to pass on to your child? Which do you want to discard?

Watch other fathers with their children – try to adopt the good qualities and avoid the bad.

Ask fathers you respect how they deal with a parenting problem.

Talk to your child’s mother and show her respect. Reassure her that you want to work with her and not against her.

For more information or to learn the location of local services, call or write the Parent Support Services Unit:

Parent Support Services Unit

P.O. Box 64629

Chicago, IL 60664-0629


TTY: 1-800-526-5812

For practical help on how to be a good dad, contact:

National Center for Fathering


P.O. Box 413888

Kansas City, MO 64141

Website: National Center for Fathering

(Ask for a free copy of the center’s magazine, "Today’s Father")

HFS 3713 (R5-13)


Forms and Brochures

 Need Assistance?

Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services

JB Pritzker, Governor • Theresa Eagleson, Director

We improve lives.