January 24, 2023 4:00am
After a break during the pandemic, My Dad’s Group is back in Hanover and Owen Sound.
Jon Farmer, Men’s Program Supervisor with the Canadian Mental Health Association Grey Bruce Mental Health and Addictions Services, explained the group gives dads the skills and perspectives they need to show up as the parent they want to be.
“That looks like everything from learning more about the ages and stages of childhood development and how our kids needs change as they grow through those to working on our own stress management and conflict management skills,” explained Farmer.
The group is designed as an interactive, collaborative experience.
“It’s not school where you’re being graded. It’s not just a video that you’re watching on YouTube that you’re not interacting with. You have a relationship with the facilitators, you have a relationship with the other guys in the program and that lets you feel support,” Farmer said.
The group was formed in the 1990s because, as Farmer explained, there were not a lot of places for men to connect with other men to build these skills.
“Men can be really isolated and there are a lot of messages in our culture that tell guys they’re supposed to have all answers and that nothing is supposed to be hard and that they are not supposed to have any questions, but that’s just not the reality,” said Farmer. “Kids don’t come with a manual.”
The Hanover group will begin January 31 with the Owen Sound group beginning February 6. The program runs every Tuesday. Anyone interested in more information or registering for the group can contact the Men’s Program at 519-372-2720 or by email to email@example.com.