New Zealand Herald

29.08.2002

Positive roles in intimate images of fathers

By REBECCA WALSH
New Zealand Herald

Posters designed to promote positive images of fathers have created a stir among some people, who have labelled them "dodgy".

The four posters, which feature photographs of real families, include a father in the bath with his young children, a father changing his son's nappies and another dancing with his teenage daughter.

Philip Chapman, president of Nelson-based Father and Child Society, who designed the posters, titled "Dads, a breed apart", said people complained about a lack of positive male role models, but then said the posters were risky and "a bit dodgy".

"We have often had this thing about wanting fathers to be more affectionate and more involved in their families, but a lot of men are scared to bath their children."

If the posters had featured mothers and their children, no one would have commented, he said.

"Some people have said it's a bit risky, but maybe it's time we did it," he said.

"It's funny - you can produce a poster which in anyone's family snap album no one would look at, but you put it in a poster and it almost becomes a political statement."

Thousands of the posters have been distributed to Plunket clinics and kindergartens.

Angela Baldwin, the general manager of clinical services for Plunket, said the posters presented a positive image of fatherhood and it was important to encourage a close relationship between fathers and their children within appropriate boundaries.

"Having these normal interactions with your children are a good thing to do," she said.

©Copyright 2002, NZ Herald