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Parenting Support Organization Provides Practical Guidance and Resources to Help Fathers Embody Qualities Kids Say Make “Excellent” Dads


Washington, DC – June 15, 2003 – This Father’s Day, one dad will give birth to not only a different kind of parenting organization, but also to an expanded definition of what it means to be a father. On June 15, child and family consultant and advocate, Allan Shedlin, Jr., will launch DADS UnlimitedTM LLC (www.daddying.com), an organization dedicated to developing and providing a comprehensive range of hands-on services and resources that support parenting.


The organization will help fathers learn the practical art and craft of “daddying,” a term and concept developed by Shedlin which is defined as a father’s (or surrogate father’s) lifelong commitment to his child’s physical, emotional, social, intellectual/creative, and moral/spiritual well being.  DADS Unlimited will enable fathers to become the lifelong dads they want to be, and that kids want and need them to be.  An important component of DADS Unlimited will be its nonprofit arm, which will provide parenting consulting services to local clinics and assist struggling grassroots fatherhood initiatives nationwide. 


“Fathers are perhaps America's – indeed, the world's – most underutilized resource,” said Allan Shedlin, Jr., president and CEO of DADS Unlimited.  “Many dads are clamoring for a little practical, accessible guidance to make their lifelong role as parents fulfilling to both themselves and their kids. DADS Unlimited will help one dad, one child, and one family at a time.”


Driven by the particular needs of men and based on the latest research, DADS Unlimited will develop a unique combination of practical tools, services, and products that can demystify daddying.  It will provide fathers of all backgrounds easy-to-follow ideas and consultations, exercises, games, and activities. In addition, DADS Unlimited will exchange information and collaborate when appropriate, with a variety of other parenting organizations.


During the past year, the ‘Fatherhood Movement’ has struggled to sustain momentum, without getting drowned out or distracted by other issues and political agendas,” said Randell Turner, Ph.D., president, The Father’s Workshop International.  “DADS Unlimited introduces a much-needed, fresh voice to the cause of effective parenting, and a boost of strength and encouragement to grassroots fatherhood organizations everywhere.”


Lifelong Daddying – Expanding What it Means to be a Father

In 1994, Shedlin coined the term “daddying” to distinguish the active, ongoing process of male parenting from the one-time, biological act of fathering.  Over the past six years, Shedlin has conducted thousands of hours of daddying interviews with kids, dads, and granddads.  He has crisscrossed the United States and crossed the Atlantic Ocean to speak with and listen to a broad socioeconomic and ethnic spectrum of kids (5-21 years ­old) and dads and granddads (16-87 years old) in three countries (the U.S., England, and Switzerland).  An analysis of dads’ and kids’ interview responses, coupled with current research on responsible fatherhood, led Shedlin to conclude that becoming the dad children want and need their fathers to be is not as daunting as many men believe.


DADS Unlimited Services

DADS Unlimited will provide families ready access to a variety of practical, research-based “Lifelong Daddying” services, resources, and products.  Guided by a panel of experts drawn from a wide variety of disciplines in both child and adult development, DADS Unlimited’s products and services will have special appeal to men, but be useful to women and men alike.


“Shedlin has the ability to put common sense ideas into language that reaches a wide audience and provokes people to examine long held beliefs and change them when necessary,” said Ruth W. Wooden, past president, National Parenting Association.  “The services provided by DADS Unlimited and Shedlin’s “Lifelong Daddying” concept are a practical, sensible, and powerfully persuasive call to fathers everywhere.”


Shedlin’s first available services will be parenting consulting and school-home liaison services, which will focus on helping parents across the lifespan – particularly dads – address common, everyday parenting challenges.  Parenting consulting provides an opportunity to understand and develop practical strategies to address the day-to-day issues of parenting before they become crises.  In addition, Shedlin will offer regular pro bono services at local family clinics.  Other “Daddying” products and resources, such as a “Lifelong Daddying” booklet series, are in development and will be available in the future to parents and grandparents nationwide.


Meeting an Urgent Need

Research indicates that when fathers are engaged in their children’s lives, their children evidence greater self-esteem, higher educational achievement, a more secure gender identity, and greater success in life.  Furthermore, recent research documents the wide range of physical, emotional, social, and work-related benefits for dads who are actively involved in their children's lives.


“It’s clear men need help in their new role as nurturing, loving fathers.  Shedlin’s Lifelong DADDYING concept will go a long way in filling this urgent need,” said George D. Comerci, M.D., former president, American Academy of Pediatrics.


Many active dads need support, information, and resources for their new involvement.  A 2000 Harris Poll found that “Today's dads want more direction...and more information.  In fact, 92 percent said knowing more up-to-date information would make them better dads.”


About DADS Unlimited and Allan Shedlin, Jr.

DADS UnlimitedTM  LLC is dedicated to demystifying parenting and developing a comprehensive range of services and resources that support parents.  Its focus is on enabling fathers to become the lifelong dads they want to be, and that kids want and need them to be.  Based in suburban Maryland, DADS Unlimited teaches dads the art and craft of “daddying” – a father’s (or surrogate father’s) active, lifelong commitment to his child’s physical, emotional, social, intellectual/creative, and moral/spiritual well being.  DADS Unlimited provides practical services and products, enhanced by ongoing research into the needs and perceptions of dads and children of all ages and walks of life.  DADS Unlimited’s products and parenting consulting services also benefit community-based organizations, corporations, government agencies and other third-party partners who would like to make them available to their members, employees or constituents.  For more information, please visit us at www.daddying.com.


Before launching DADS Unlimited, Allan Shedlin, Jr., founded and served for a decade as Executive Director of the New York-based National Elementary School Center (NESC) – an organization dedicated to the optimal development and learning of every child and to helping professionals, parents, and the public address children’s needs.  Prior to that, Shedlin was principal of New York City’s Ethical Culture School for eight years.  He has taught in graduate school (Bank Street College of Education) through nursery school, and worked in a range of urban and suburban institutions, both public and private.  Through his national consulting, frequent broadcast interviews, speaking engagements, and published commentary, he has steadily established a broad national platform as an authority on parenting, education, and child-focused public policy.

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For more information, contact:  Scott Beller @ 202-365-5234

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