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Advocacy group wants more work done to encourage boys to be good fathers

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A hub for boys, men, fathers and families is hoping more is done to change the culture and encourage boys and men to be good fathers.

Daniel Bonin is the Montreal branch director for the Canadian Centre for Men and Families and said it's important for society to produce more positive male role models.

"There's a lot of like terminology, like toxic masculinity, like there's a lot of anti-father speak out there," he told CTV News. "You could go onto Amazon and punch in 'I hate men', you will get a book, you will get a pencil cases, T shirts, you're not allowed to hate anybody these days, but hating men is very encouraged."

He said rather than hating men, they should be encouraged to be positive role models and enter professions where they aren't often found, such as daycares.

"One of my neighbours was talking about how she doesn't have one male in all three years of her early childhood education program at college, there's not one male," said Bonin. "They don't encourage men to take it."

He said that the positive effects of encouraging women to enter male-dominated professions such as policing should be extended to men in fields such as early childhood education.

"If we don't have fathers and we don't have males in our environments, young boys who love children who want to be parents who want to be fathers are not encouraged," said Bonin. "They don't see men involved in the upbringing of children."

In addition, Bonin said many young boys are not encouraged to be engaged with the family unit.

A study published for the American National Library of Medicine on parental alienation found that having a parent opt out of the family can cause emotional pain, anxiety, addiction, and mental health difficulties later in life.

"Exposure to parental alienating behaviours in childhood can have a profound impact on the mental health of those children later in life, including experiencing anxiety disorders and trauma reactions.

Bonin wants fathers to have hope and engage with the family unit.

"That's what they have to be encouraged with because a father is really the time you put into the child, the time and the patience," he said.  

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