Local dads learn parenting skills

Local dads learn parenting skills
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There’s nothing quite like a father’s love. It’s what motivated Nethaniel Smith to sign up for this parenting class.

“You know, I’m 22, a single dad. There could always be more to learn. I want to make sure I do everything right. Definitely wanna get more comfortable, just build my confidence up around my daughter,” said Smith, a Miami, Oklahoma father.

Confident parenting is something the Alliance of Southwest Missouri hopes to instill in all these dads, by giving them a safe space to talk about the issues they face, man-to-man.

“We want to give them the opportunity to talk to one another without any judgments being made, and just have that free conversation. They handle situations differently than women may, so just giving them that opportunity to learn from one another,” explained Peggy Lentz, Director of Education for the Alliance of Southwest Missouri.

“Parental resilience. This one is really important.”

Parental resilience is the ability to bounce back from difficult situations, one of five protective factors the Alliance hopes parents learn, including an understanding of the social and emotional development in young children.

“When they come out of this, we do hope that they will maybe build some friendships where they can call on one another in a hard situation, or even just celebrate the good times that they’ve had with their family,” said Lentz.

The tools that they learn in class cross over into the real world.

“Dads of older children, they’ve gone through things that I haven’t yet, and especially dads with daughters. I’ve got my hands full for the next 16 years, so it was nice to hear kind of what I need to expect,” Smith expressed.

The free, fathers-only parenting class will be continued over the next two weeks.

Breakfast and child care is included during the class.

You can register here.