Daniel's Den Toddler groups

Dad’s Zone

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Dad’s Zone is our monthly Dad’s (and other male carers) Parent and Toddler Group Session held at our Wembley Park venue, The Yellow Community Centre on the first Saturday of the month – see session info here.

Why is there a need for a Dad’s group?

Historically and in many places culturally, Fathers have been deemed the breadwinners of families and have not taken a hands-on role with their babies and young children as mothers have.  As these parent norms start to shift research has shown the importance of the presence of an engaged father figure with quality engagement leading to high scoring in toddler cognitive and intellectual development observations.

There is a need to create a space for male carers to share and bond over their experiences of parenting in this specific environment.  Research shows many fathers that have attended Parent and Toddler groups comment that they are usually the only male, and some even feel awkward to the point of not returning.

Some fathers find it hard to bond with their children (1 in 10 experience postnatal depression) but being surrounded by other father figures, sharing experiences, asking for support in a safe non-judgemental environment can increase confidence in meeting their children’s practical and emotional needs.  For many fathers’ attending something like Dad Zone is the first place they would have taken their children alone without their partner.  This allows bonding and independence in a safe environment.

“I always intended to be a very hands-on father, and I feel nowadays, many dads have the same thoughts. However, when you take your kids out, you realise that things are very much still geared towards “mothers and babies”. Going to Dad Zone is always a chance to talk to similar-minded fathers. The atmosphere is different, and there is a sense of camaraderie. I love going to Daniel’s Den’s parent and baby group, but Dad Zone is a unique monthly treat.”

Sam – DZ Dad