student needsChildrens’ needs at home and at school are so variable that keeping track is a formidable task. The allegiance between teachers and parents to look out for student needs in both environments is paramount to a safe, positive developmental environment.

For a moment, we’re going to step outside the formal classroom. Leaving aside school budget plans and nationwide school staffing plans, we’re highlighting a program that was built to form stronger bonds between fathers and daughters.

Over 40% of parents in the United States report that their children spend an excess of three or more hours per day on digital devices. A fact of the iGeneration, some personal bonds can lose out to iPhones. This gap widens between fathers and daughters as they get older, but one program sought to change this at an early age.

The Daddy Daughter Hair Foundation (DDHF) began as father-daughter team Philippe and Emma Morgese. Dad didn’t know how to help his daughter do her hair, an important process in developing a positive self-image in young girls. Plus, hair styling is a great skill to have. So, with her help, he set out to learn. Realizing that this knowledge gap exists between fathers and daughters around the country, they started the non-profit.

Beginning in Florida, the DDHF became widespread around the country. Encouraging dads and daughters everywhere to bond through beautification and, at the same time, sharing a message that beauty and daughter bonding isn’t limited to mothers and daughters.

“It starts off that conversation of we’re a family unit. We’re a family as a whole, and it doesn’t matter what the problem is. We’re both here for you. Mom and dad are here for you. And if mom is gone, that doesn’t mean you can’t come to dad and ask dad for help,” explained one Iowa father who started his own DDHF chapter.

Healthy family bonding and positive reinforcement begin with the home team. Whether that’s perfecting a daughter’s double French braid or being there when they need a hug, the family unit is where it starts. Translating that into a learning environment at school is the best thing that can be done for student needs and positively reinforced development, regardless of age.