Calling all dads, calling all dads!

In a world with too many deadbeats dads, I witnessed a wonderful sight while waiting for my daughter in the dentist waiting room – a dad, his infant baby, his middle school son, and his young daughter – all involved in reading.

The teenage brother

When I first sat down, I noticed the older boy was reading a book out loud to his younger sister. Was he shy or embarrassed about reading in front of a room full of people? Not at all! Not only did the he read, but I could tell that he also

was practicing his own reading skills at the same time as being a good role model to his sister.

Dad gets involved

The dad could have easily told his kids to just sit there and be quiet or to look at books themselves, but did he? No, not at all! He added comments here or there to help his son, and even took over reading after a few minutes. What a good role model for all of his kids, as well as the rest of us in the room.

Good things that occurred

  1. Dad being involved with his kids
  2. Dad supporting oral hygiene
  3. Dad having the older son be a good role model
  4. The older son practicing his own reading
  5. The younger sister getting exposed to books
  6. Dad setting the example that reading is important

A note to other dads…

Its never too late to be involved with your children’s reading experiences, even if you don’t consider yourself much of a reader. By being involved, you can send a message that you care – both academically, as well as personally. Just go for it!

A side note:

Before I left, I complimented the dad and got permission to post their photo and story on

Questions to discuss

What reading experiences (both good and bad) have you had with your dad?

Posted in: Content

{ 15 comments… add one }

  • samanthajr

    I was one of those people who never got to really be around my father. I know now though that my children will have their father. I think every child needs a role model and I think my husband is a wonderful one. We spend time reading a lot. We plan to do this with our children.

  • Chuck

    6. Dad setting the example that reading is important.

    This is so true Mike. You can’t teach what you don’t have. You have to practice what you preach. Walk the talk. For my Dad this has been always the case. Being a good model to me and my sister made a great impact in our lives.

    Thanks to all the great dads out there!

  • Mike McQueen

    When I woke up this morning I was thinking about what blog article I should create next. As I planned to write one more aimed toward moms, I thought back to this Blog article. I kind of got worried that some women may have felt left out, or even possibly offended by this article. Do you think this could be the case for anyone?

  • zemlene

    In my point of view, Mike. “No” since Dad is the head of the family. and that fathers have different relationship with the kids like mothers do.

    Besides, most Dads are not a hands on father. So it is more likely that when the man of the house will initiate something like this activity at home is something extra ordinary because it is really the mother who always sits down with the children and teach them how to read and write and the like.

    Specially in my country, Father’s here seldom pay attention to the learning process of the kids because it is the role of the mother here. So when fathers gives more effort in raising their child like this… it makes him the ultimate father of all times for me.

  • Debby-6-Kids

    Offended? No, not by any means. It is so refreshing to see this. Reading the story you wrote on what you experienced..a father reading and being involved with his children.(Not counting the fact you had your phone on you and were lucky enough to get pictures)!

  • Chuck

    I don’t think so Mike. Although I’m not a mom, I think they won’t be offended. I also think that a good front page article on moms teaching the kids to read would be nice.

    It is a rare experience here in our country that fathers are so closely involved with their children’s reading skills. What I mean is helping out with their school work and the like.

    I was able to talk to a mom during the last PTC and she was helping out her son in her home works to the point that she knows my course outline for the semester. I hope her son does too.

  • Debby-6-Kids

    Okay Chuck, I think you just picked my next blog?! I’m just getting to the point where I am not afraid to blow up the site when I upload the material and my heart stops beating when the computer takes a bit to upload the pics!

  • keith at ela

    My memories of reading and my father are not good. He was the same as my teachers. Intolerant and unhelpful to the fact that I then found it very hard to read because I am dyslexic. He was good and could not accept the fact that I was not. Also he could not accept the fact that I was left-handed, just like my teachers. Only recently he asked me “why do you always do everything backwards and different to everyone els, I said maybe it’s because I’m left-handed. Only then after all these years did he realize.
    I will say one good thing that my father did for me. He always made me speak correctly, with good clear English, for this I am ever grateful especially now as I am an English Language Teacher and my clear spoken English is the most important toll in the classroom for any English language teacher.
    Keep up the good work Mike – This is a really good site.

  • Chuck

    @ keith. You are still fortunate to have your dad teach you the correct English. You are a special case. It is probably that they don’t understand your situation that is why they are intolerant of your uniqueness. Nevertheless, these people have influenced who we are right now.

  • vanessa_cruz0615

    It’s okay Mike. But writing a blog aimed toward moms will be great too.

  • keith at ela

    Dads the ultimate reading role model – when I read this article again I felt bad, remembering when my kids were young. At the time I still had my reading/writing phobia and was afraid to attempt to help them. I tried to compensate by encouraging them to read, buying them books. My wife was good, she gave them all the time and help they needed but I avoided it by burying myself in my work and always being too busy for them.
    I remember my dad trying to help me but unfortunately he was the same as my teachers at the time. They were ignorant to the existence of dyslexia and they thought there was something wrong with me because I am left handed ( from medieval times, it was considered as the work of the devil if you were left handed, at least I was not burnt at the stake heheheheheh)
    Now thinking about things, I don’t think I did a bad job. In my limited way, I helped them as much as I could. I demonstrated to them the importance of hard work to get anywhere in life and helped them develop many practical skills, like building, mending, cooking, etc.
    I only wish it was now and I could do it all over with the knowledge and enthusiasm I have now. My sons turned out OK. My oldest son is now running his own very successful language school in Spain and my youngest son is a good chef, now running a restaurant. I am very proud of them both. When my youngest son reached the time at school when he had to start thinking about what job or career he wanted, he asked me and knowing his interests and limitations (he is dyslexic the same as me) I said to him to be either a mechanic or a cook/chef because there will always be machines, cars etc. to be fixed and people will always want feeding. He tried as a mechanic and did not really like it then he tried cooking and found it was the thing for him.

  • Gerrit

    Reading with my kids has been a great experience. There is something very emotionally connective about having a child in your lap while pointing to words or pictures on a page and listening to their responses when you ask, “What is that?”

    My wife and I just started a new tradition: Dad reads a children’s adaptation of a classic out loud every night before bed. We found a great picture book version of the Odyssey and my kids love it. My boy who is almost four will sit in my lap for over twenty minutes at a time while I read page after page. My girl is only two so she has a harder time sitting that long, but the pictures help to focus her attention.

    Very fulfilling as a dad and a Classics lover.

  • skureishi

    I believe libraries should be specialized in practically mentoring dads on how to build rapport with their kids andd to get them to read more. Imagine if there were specialized people available in every library who actually would work with dads and kids and teach them this skill. Pretty much like a fitness coach who is always available at the gym. Regards, Salman A. Kureishi – Karachi Pakistan



You can add your opinion here: