Prince William said he worried some new fathers “just don’t know what to do, and they don’t know where to go” for help, as he and Kate spoke to the group supported by Future Men, a charity providing guidance to men and boys. The Duchess has made championing the early-years development of children one of the main pillars of her public work and the results of her landmark national survey about the issue are expected in the coming days.
During a video call William asked the fathers: “How does Future Men find some of these other guys out there who have not got the realisation, or the wherewithal if you like, to go looking for services like Future Men and be able to build on a happy future as a father?
“I worry an awful lot. A lot of dads out there just don’t know what to do and don’t know where to go. They may not have such good grounding, foundations or support around them to be able to know what to do.”
Future Men provides a range of courses that help with fatherhood, from enhancing father-child relationships to teaching practical and emotional approaches to enable dads to take care of themselves, their partner and baby.
The men described their experiences of fatherhood when Kate asked them about the challenges of family life especially during lockdown.
Sarit Chaturvedi said: “Any other job you enter, you are shown the ropes. It’s very scary being a parent for the first time.”
William and Kate have previously joked about their experiences of home schooling their children, George, Charlotte and Louis, with the Duchess calling it “challenging”.
When one of the fathers said he knew lots of men who did not know about the Future Men fatherhood courses but were interested, Kate said: “Dads play such an important role, it shouldn’t be a bad thing to reach out for help and advice.”
William asked the dads if being a father was valued, and Darren Smith, married with a son called Messiah, replied: “We’re superheroes to these kids, we’re their role models.You know, they look at us as ‘OK, I want to be like Daddy’. My son tells me every day ‘Daddy, I want to be like you’.”
He added: “We have to set a good example, for the kids and the future men of tomorrow.”