“Here is your daughter,” said the doctor. The magnitude of that moment hit me in so many ways when they placed her in my arms for the first time. I felt a wave of emotion and I knew that every area of my life was going to be changed by this little girl. The second thought I had was that no matter what happened, I was going to be her Dad. No matter how horrible I was, or how far I ran, the reality was,that I was always going to be her Dad. Then the next wave hit me and I went to the bathroom and threw up. Being a Dad is a big deal and how we take hold of it matters,but the one fact that can’t be changed, is that you are a Dad. You can be a good Dad, a bad Dad, a barely there Dad, a caring Dad, etc., but you are a Dad. Don’t hide from it, but be open to being a student of fatherhood, dedicated to doing your best and prepared to learn what it means to be a good dad. Don’t let your past define you, your fears and insecurities cripple you, or your career ambitions consume you. It is good to feel the enormity of being a Dad, but we all need help. None of us have it all figured out. If you’re struggling to find resources, or just need to know there are other Dad’s out there, please reach out to the Belleville Pregnancy and Family Care Centre to connect with our Dad’s program.
One of the special roles we have as dads is in the area of helping our kids to learn. Research shows that when fathers are involved, children do better in school both socially and academically. When it comes to our children’s learning, dads have a unique ability to spark a hunger for creativity and discovery. We can open up the world in our children’s minds with our words, our presence, and our actions so that they see something new and enjoy things in a new way. The problem is, that life seems to smash the joy of learning out of most of us. Busy schedules can squash our children’s creativity. In the midst of the regular chaos we try to simply survive by going to work, getting our kids to whatever lesson, practice or program, and getting them back to bed. How can we help our kids to widen their eyes to the world around them and capture the joy of learning in the midst of it all?
First of all, are we still enjoying learning ourselves? When was the last time you watched a show that taught you something new or picked up a book that made you see the world in a totally different way? Capture that joy of learning for yourself. Kids notice a dad who is constantly nagging them to do their homework, but in their own lives have stopped learning long ago.
Second, don’t feel like you always have to hit a home run when you just need a base hit. We don’t always have time to take our kids for an hour long hike and amaze them with our knowledge of the woods, or sit under the stars and explain the mysteries of the universe. Sometimes, it can be as simple as pointing out the bees flying in and out of the flowers next to the McDonalds drive thru while you’re on your way to the millionth swimming lesson and asking them, “What are those bees up to?” Maybe while you’re running around Wal-Mart, point out what country a product has come from and ask them, “What continent is that country in?” It’s an amazing thing when kids can be awakened to the opportunities to learn through the world around them outside of the four walls of a classroom.
Finally, don’t stop Dads. Life is hard, life is busy, but the role of helping our kids to learn will make a rich legacy that will live on a very long time.
A theme most common in the classrooms I visit for our 4U Healthy Lifestyle Course is the lack of personal values. Media is a big influence in the decisions students make. Pointing out or discovering true values rather than what media or friends say is one of the most important activities in my presentation. Values are questioned such as “Is it family?” “Is it Education? Physical Health? Media opinion? Music, honesty....?“ Which are non-negotiable? What will you do when these are challenged? Do you compromise? Many students are surprised at their answers. The hope is that they will be able to make their best choices in the future knowing what their non-negotiable values are.
So what can you do at home with your grade 7/8 kids? Try this exercise at home: talk about your own personal values. Create scenarios and find out what would they do. How can they stay strong to their values in order to meet their particular goals?
Darla, 4U Healthy Lifestyles Coordinator
When does that feeling start inside us where we look at others and then look at ourselves and feel discontent? For some it starts at an early age and continues on into adulthood. Comparing ourselves in various ways to another person's looks, talents, personality or possessions can leave us with the feeling of wishing we were someone else. If our focus is on comparing ourselves and our lives to that of our family, friends, classmates or perhaps to models and movie stars we are missing out on discovering the wonder and beauty of who we were created to be.
This is why I love the quote, "Wanting to be someone else is a waste of who you are," from our program, Life Encouraged And Directed (LEAD). Our discussions include the realization that there is so much more to other people's lives then what we see. Each person has their own life's journey that they are walking out and it can come with difficulties and joys. Other topics covered are learning to accept all aspects of ourselves, the good and maybe not so good. We look at setting goals for areas where we would like to make improvements. The program encourages women to discover who they are and to embrace their own uniqueness and individuality.
These are just some of the topics that we cover in the LEAD class. If you struggle in areas like this and want to learn more about it, click here.
As you probably know, the Belleville Pregnancy and Family Care Centre is a non-profit organization, a Christian charity, serving the women and men of this community in areas of pregnancy, parenting, and healthy sexual education. Over the last 28 years, we have been blessed with a generous population of donors, both monthly and annually, who help keep our services available to our clients. It is at this time of year that we make the call to you, our supporters and those interested in our mandate, to once again search your hearts and give what you can to keep our Centre going in 2018.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, that whosoever believes in him would have everlasting life (John 3:16)." This year, at our Spring Gala, in which we celebrate our Centre and you who support it, we will focus on the world - its countries, its cities, our Belleville, and how much God loves it all. Is it not true that as God has given everything for these communities, then we should also give? Won't you join us?
For more information on what we at the Centre are about, and what we do, please take a look throughout our website. You will find our mission statement, our programs, and many ways that you can help. Come to the Spring Gala on April 7 - bring a friend! It is completely free, full of food and entertainment, and a great way to get to know our Centre. At the end of the evening there will be an opportunity to make a free will offering. Please RSVP as soon as you can - it's just a few weeks away!
Spending time together is something that is happening less and less. In a world that is more connected then every before a new reality is emerging. We don’t spend as much time with other people face to face; talking, laughing, and eating a meal. We have replaced so many of our interactions with people with interacting with devices which makes certain situations more efficient such as a checkouts at a grocery store but one area that technology will never replace is the presence of a father. There are some unique benefits for child development that comes from having a father there. Studies have shown that the way fathers play with their children is different than that of a mother. Fathers tend to be more spontaneous in their play helping develop kid’s curiosity. This fact might not be in the front of children’s mind but what will be is that they know when Dad’s here anything can happen. They also tend to encourage rougher play which within proper limits can help children develop self-confidence. So let’s spend time with our kids. Don’t worry so much about making the most amazing Instagram perfect moments but enjoy the small moments that are all around us together. It makes a difference. When more and more people are feeling lonely in spite of being more connected; let’s have Dads step up and make an effort to simply be with their children in a way only they can be.
Dave Drabiuk is head of the Men's Program at the Belleville Pregnancy and Family Care Centre. All men are welcome to meet with Dave on Wednesdays. Men's Program runs 4pm-5:30pm every Wednesday. Feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our first post of this, shall we say, moment of musing, Friday's Files, the "Drop the Mic" moment is here! We went through a serious number of titles for this blog and still haven't come up with just the right one....
Here you find news articles about what is going on in and around our Centre; encouraging notes from our program director, Marg; answers to sexual integrity questions (completely confidential), and tips on parenting and babies... Stay tuned as we bring you fabulous content, and don't forget to follow us on facebook and instagram!
Erin (At the desk)