A man to count on. What does it mean to be a father who people look up to, respect, and enjoy being around? How does a father earn those traits these days? What does the relationship he has with mom mean to the children? These are the types of questions we are addressing in the A Man to Count On project. This is a new discussion for us – the intersection of new fatherhood and intimate partner abuse (IPA), but our focus is beyond violence and abuse to developing support and resources that support couple relationships during the transition to parenthood. New parenthood is an important time. Many things change for couples – their time together, their expectations, their communication, and sometimes their feelings towards each other. Dad Central is pleased to have the support of the Public Health Agency of Canada to develop workshops, a booklet, info sheets and videos that address the ways fathers can build healthy relationships with their partners. And it goes without saying that this can only benefit the child.
Craig Brochmann and Brian Russell facilitated a full-day training in Thunder Bay on Jan 29 that opened up the discussion around fatherhood and IPA. Almost 80 people attended and participated in small and large group dialogue on the importance of fathers, the ways men transition to fatherhood, the impact of abuse on relationships and parenting, and how we can support couple relationships during pregnancy and after birth. They also had a sneak peek at Dad, Renovate Your Relationship (a booklet for new fathers), the workshops being developed for fathers, and one of the videos soon to be released on http://www.newdadmanual.ca.
Here is what people were saying about the training:
- Really enjoyed the camaraderie of the facilitators – a nice balance of the theory/practice with personal stories and application.
- The variety of formats (video, small/large group discussions) made it easy to pay attention.
- I could use more of a focus on programming and what to do to engage dads.
- I think there is value in framing much of this material as a “human experience” to highlight how men & women are similar, in addition to giving insight into their differences.
Three more training sessions will be taking place across Ontario before the end of March with one more being planned for May 2014. Sign up for the Dad Central newsletter (www.dadcentral.ca), follow @dadsontario on Twitter and “like” dadcentralontario on Facebook to stay connected with all training opportunities.
For more information on this project contact firstname.lastname@example.org