Fathering Forum Teams are regular ongoing groups of dads who meet locally to share with each other the everyday joys and challenges of being fathers. The basic premises are that every dad wants to be the best dad he can be, and that by tapping into the collective wisdom and experience of other dads and by having his own contribution welcomed and valued, tools and insights emerge that help him, his family and most important, his children live healthy, safe and successful and creative lives.
Every group of dads is different, but several features of all Fathering Forum Teams stand out. 1) We see ourselves as peers and colleagues, not experts, leaders or trainers. For this reason, leadership of the meetings changes. Meetings usually include a 1) “check-in” portion, where each dads relates briefly what is up for him as a dad and solicits feedback, or perhaps simply attentive listening of the other fathers. 2) a discussion theme such as discipline, co-parenting, time management, the difference between raising boys and girls, to how to life’s big questions with kids in age-appropriate ways.
Certain guidelines have developed that experience has shown add to Team workability:
- Confidentiality is essential
- Our word is our bond
- Insights gleaned should be put into concrete action, and we hold each other respectfully accountable for taking those actions
- Fathering Forum Team meetings are not therapy or support groups. They are an ongoing, practical community activity. What we say and do as Fathering Forum participants, on any level is always evaluated in terms of its actual or potential impact on our children, not on our personal self improvement per se.
To join a Fathering Forum Team in your area, or to start a new one where you live, please contact Bill Bozarth – bbz at covad dot net.