FAITH NEWS SERVICE – According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, “fathers’ involvement in their children’s lives has been shown to have a positive effect on children and their well-being in many areas,” including “increasing the chances of academic success and reducing the chances of delinquency and substance abuse.” But not all children benefit from having a father present in their lives.
All too often Black fathers in particular are faulted for neglecting their children’s needs, especially emotional ones. In a recent Newsweek article, however, Josh Levs cites the Center for Disease Control, noting that “when it comes to Black dads specifically, most, in fact, live with their children.” And among all fathers who do so, “Black dads are in many ways the most involved with their [children’s] lives.”
In Thank You, Daddy! A Tribute to My Girl Dad—and Girl Daddies Everywhere,
Denise Ann Goosby dispels the myth of the absent Black father by recounting with warmth and gratitude the presence of her father in her life. With short prose “stanzas” and clear language accessible to young children, Goosby depicts the loving bond shared with her father. Young readers will be able to relate to such simple activities as joining Daddy at work for Family Day, playing carnival games, learning to fish, and singing together at church. Perhaps most importantly, Goosby recounts how her father took the time to snuggle with her and share stories of his own childhood and youth, passing on to her the value of family heritage and hope for the future.
The “father effect” can be especially important to girls. Fathers who behave warmly and interact meaningfully with their daughters help them to value themselves in ways that can lead to healthier self-images, choices, and lives.
In Thank You, Daddy! Denise Ann Goosby depicts the kind of father whose loving presence can make a significant difference in his daughter’s life. And because picture books are meant to be read by adults to children, reading her story can itself can become one of those invaluable bonding moments for daddy and daughter. Although Goosby’s book focuses on her childhood experiences with her own dad, her affectionate account honors all fathers who put the time and energy into building a loving, lifelong bond with their daughters.
Jones, Jo, and Mosher, William D. Fathers’ Involvement with Their Children: United States, 2006–2010. National Health Statistics Reports 71. 20 December 2013.
Krisch, Joshua A. The Science of Dad and the ‘Father Effect.’ Fatherly.com. 11 May 2021. https://www.fatherly.com/health-science/science-benefits-of-fatherhood-dads-father-effect/
Levs, Josh. They’re Dragging Out the ‘Absent Black Fathers’ Myth Again. Can We Give it a Rest? Newsweek.com. 5 June 2020.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Denise Ann Goosby grew up a preacher’s daughter, and her love of words led to degrees in English and print journalism and to work as a reporter and educator. In 2018 she founded Healing Song Ministry to serve seniors, veterans, and the hurting in south Los Angeles County. Denise enjoys visiting cultural sites and cheering for her world-champion childhood heroes, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Lakers. She writes and sings on her blog, Denise’s Healing Journey.
Contact Denise at firstname.lastname@example.org
Healing Song Ministry: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHPNkGeOyN7ILQDJnz7yRSQ/videos