05. Including the Dads

Involving dads is very beneficial

Mothers are often the predominant parent attending Story Links sessions with their children. However, many pupils have complex feelings about their relationship with their fathers, whether present or absent.

They clash… my husband hasn’t any patience, and Ian hasn’t either so I’m the go-between, the mediator, the peacemaker yes.
Ian’s Mum

Many pupils at risk of exclusion are not in contact with their biological father and there can be a sense of abandonment or confusion in relation to the absent father:

Fred’s got a different dad to the others [his siblings]… I think he lived with him when he was much younger, but then says, I don’t see my dad at all and I’ve got a new dad… so that must be quite tricky for him, it doesn’t seem clear who his dad is, his (step) dad who is black African is his new dad.
Fred’s SL teacher

Including the absent father in the story

An interesting development in a number of cases in the evaluation was the way in which the father, though absent from the sessions, came to be represented in the actual stories through a father figure character.  Other fathers appreciated being sent copies fo the stories- particularly when they were separated from the mother as it helped them feel included in their child’s school life.

Section Summary

  1. Dads can be included in the story metaphor
  2. Sending copies of the stories to dads – particularly if living separately from the mother – can be a non-threatening way to include them in their child’s education.

What to read next?

From the Dragon’s Mouth