December 4, 2013 Leave a comment
It's the best job on the planet
November 25, 2013 Leave a comment
Once a year the Dad Central Ontario steering committee gets together to assess how we’re doing as an organization and to look at the year ahead. This past year was a great year and we continue to grow and support fatherhood initiatives and fathers across the province.
Our annual meeting gives us a chance to talk about whether we’re meeting the needs of organizations serving families, children and, especially, fathers. What could we be doing better, what do dads need that we don’t offer, how strong are the resources we already have? Its good to celebrate what we do well and its equally important to strive to do better and be better.
If you’d like to keep up to date about upcoming events, new initiative, projects and resources as well as receive other fatherhood-related news please sign up for our newsletter and join our FB page. To stay connected to us in these and other ways, check out our website, www.dadcentral.ca
November 15, 2013 Leave a comment
Rose of Durham successfully implemented ‘What a Difference a Dad Makes’ a ten week parenting program built on the content of the FIBOCC program in the fall of 2008. Since then the program has been offered a total of 16 times within our agency, and last year we partnered with another agency in our Region servicing men outside our age mandate of 30 to offer it twice a year.
So as of 2013 the program is being offered 5 times per year in Durham Region.
The program has been completed by 128 young fathers. Some of the successes witnessed have included young men obtaining new or increased access to their children, two young men have obtained full custody, many of the participants enter back into main stream education or obtain gainful employment, in addition to recognizing the impact their relationships or lack of relationships with their own fathers have had on their lives, and their desire to break that cycle.
One young man who took the group for the first time in late 2009 has been so impacted by the group, that he regularly attends every group offered as a mentor to young men entering the program. Many of the young men who complete the group express a desire to do the group again due to the connection they feel with the facilitator and the healing properties offered by the camaraderie built among their peers within the group.
We feel our group is successful due to the fact that our facilitator is a male and was also a young father himself. With the young men we see, many who have had problems with the law, there is a very tough exterior to get through. When they really feel like someone understands where they are in their life, and can relate on a very real level, it makes a tremendous difference.
Our agency, our staff, our board, and our community is proud of the work we do with young fathers in the community, and the healthier relationships between father and child that exist as a result.
September 11, 2013 2 Comments
This post is a follow up to a previous blog post which you can read here: http://wp.me/p1jwkK-3O
Well, it happened! Alex is the proud father of a new baby boy born July 11, 2013, at 11:57am as his teasing mother-in-law joked it most certainly would arrive, before lunch. The young guy weighed in at 9 lbs. 9 oz. but not without controversy … Laura had been up to see the doctors at the Thunder Bay hospital two weeks previous and they had tried to induce her for 8 hours without success. Frustrated and tired, she vowed not to travel the 120 kilometer one way trip from Nipigon to Thunder Bay again until her child was ready. Expectant Dad, Alex, fully concurred! Alex Junior (or AJ for short) Oswald Gordon Nayanookeesic is now alive and taking in his new world having been born naturally and thankfully without complications. One great grandfather and one grandfather were tremendously honoured by having this precious bundle of joy named after them!
Alex was there at the birth of his son and was as he coined the phrase “overwhelmed” by the process. He wanted to video the event but as the intensity of the moment began this idea came to a rapid close. Asked how he felt about the birth he said that it was “the happiest moment in my life.” He also had a question- “How the heck was that baby able to come out of Laura’s body?” At the moment of birth he was overcome and “cried like a baby!”
Laura’s winter snow plow operator position came to an end and she had enough time accumulated to qualify for and collect Canada employment insurance (EI) maternity leave. Alex lined up a highway production job in the spring with his uncle Bobby working for Pioneer Construction near and just east of town and close to home. It is a six day a week gig with Sundays off and four days off during a long weekend. When AJ was born his dad took two weeks leave to be there for his new son, Laura, and the other two children. Somewhat reluctantly he has returned to the job site as he loves to spend time with the baby. Unfortunately, a probable trade layoff will probably come late summer or early fall.
Very excited about the little one and nervous at first, Alex has since found his stride and place. He was blessed to be able to hold the baby right away. He dotes over AJ, not scared in the least to hold him close. He and Laura are very loving of each other and it shows as parents with their newborn. She is able to breast feed and he supports her all the way sometimes to the point of instructing the other two children “to not bother their mother as she is feeding the baby.”
The day AJ came home, I was at the township’s outdoor swimming pool with the grandkids, and being from a small town where we know everyone’s vehicle, I noticed a familiar black 2005 Mazda 6 rounding the corner with him inside accompanied by Dad & Mom, and Karin, Laura’s mother. I mentioned to granddaughter Angelina that her new brother had just rounded the corner and in a flash that little girl was peddling her children’s bike as fast as her two little legs could go to catch up with the vehicle and head for home. I was witnessing a precious moment… Her seven year old brother was just as fast but trailed even me slightly as we all peddled our bikes to rendezvous with the newest member of the family. It truly was a beautiful sight to see, Alex, with his new family, and with his first paternal son. Laura indicated later that “She had never seen her kids bike so fast!”
Being a new dad isn’t easy, but Alex already has it figured out that if they don’t bottle feed AJ then he won’t have to mix formula. He just has to give Laura a nudge when AJ cries for nourishment in the middle of the night. As a form of aid, I supplied the new father with a pamphlet entitled “24-HR CRIBSIDE ASSISTANCE” the new baby manual for dads (figured I had better since I am a member of the Dad Central Steering Committee ha ha ha!)
Adjusting to the newest addition appears natural for Alex. He puts AJ in the car seat and swings him around, watches intently as the baby is feeding, rocks him with his foot while watching TV, and carries him with ease (something which took ‘ol rigid me a long time to succeed at.) Alex is a laid-back type of person and I am certain this sociable aspect will bode well for him as the future proceeds with all the joys and trials of having another individual to care for.
Oh yes, and by the way, he is trying to quit smoking. When asked why replied “just feel like it, and for Laura to kiss him…” He also wants to set an example for his children. He is worried that they will take up smoking because he does even though they always are always reminding him that it’s bad for his health. His replacement addiction, sun flower seeds…
Submitted by Gordon Mackenzie, Nipigon, ON – a very proud and grateful father-in-law and member of the Dad Central Steering Committee representing Northwestern Ontario
August 29, 2013 Leave a comment
Summer is still with us but I am left with the unenviable task of getting your attention on your child’s upcoming school year. A new school year often presents change upon change for newly separating and separated families. What was once viewed as a joyful experience in an intact family may now present challenges that make parenting more complicated e.g. a parent moves to a new school district; shared daycare costs; etc.? Our children of every age face changes everywhere they turn from losing/making friends to the profound adjustment to both a mom’s house and a dad’s house.
Kids ‘n’ Dad tries to focus separated parents on the new school year in early August. We believe in limiting surprises that may lead to unwanted parenting conflict that impacts your children. The school year has the potential to be a year of chaos and disarray or an opportunity for separating parents to restore some order, predictability and calm to their children’s lives and to their own lives.
The new school year may be especially difficult emotionally for newly separating families. For many parents, more often dads, it may feel like they have been detached from a meaningful part of being a parent. For a separated family the passing of Labour Day is a clarifying moment; namely, family life has changed…forever.
On a pragmatic note it may also be an expensive time with new clothing, school supplies and additional fees for this or that. Separated families rarely have adequate income to support a dad’s home and a mom’s home and difficult choices must be made about children’s activities in the upcoming year.
The Globe and Mail (Facts and Arguments) recently published a letter by a young woman who wrote about the aloneness of being a child of divorce. As hard as she tried she grew up feeling like an outsider in her parents’ homes and later in their subsequent families. Her letter stopped me in my place. I thought about my own children and the children of our clients who struggle with that same sense of aloneness and lack of belonging. My point here is that getting this school thing right is part of overcoming what happened to this young woman as she grew up. Parents have a responsibility to ensure that their children feel included and are full family members in each home and that each home is involved in the child’s daily life. School is an integral part of that daily life.
The following is a short list of ideas to consider for the upcoming school year. What can you do in the upcoming school year to ensure that your child knows that they still have a loving family? Compile a personal list- your commitment to your children and the other parent.
I used to view parenting through a separation as a marathon, not a sprint. I have adapted my thinking- separation is a series of sprints that eventually add up to a marathon. Just when you think there is a comfortable routine, life gets in the way. Life in the way can be a remarriage or a move or a job loss/ financial crisis or a child in crisis or…. Every separated family in every school year is likely to face a difficult change(s) that may trigger a crisis. As separated parents we have a responsibility to find peaceful and cooperative solutions to those ‘life gets in the way’ happenings. The school year is an opportunity for parents to model for their child a relationship that captures the parents’ love for their child- a love that will survive the crisis of a family separation.
The return to school is an opportunity through these troubled, family times to be the engaged parent that your child needs you to be.
Send us your ideas that have helped your changed family find renewal. We will include your ideas in a future blog. The best way to renewal is often found from the collective experiences of our unique journeys.
Kids ‘n’ Dad Shared Support
Thanks to Barry for contributing to our blog. If you have any comments or questions, please contact us. –DCO Admin–
August 14, 2013 Leave a comment
We are looking for people to give us some feedback on a couple of videos at newdadmanual.ca.
Please take a couple of minutes to watch the videos below and provide us with your thoughts.
Video #1 (0:43):
Video #2 (3:40):
To give any direct feedback or to share how you navigated the experience of feeding your baby, please complete the following form:
Thanks for your time.