*** Trusting Connections’ special guest feature for this week’s blog post is Allan Stockellburg, Pima County Regional Manger at TOPS (Teenage Outreach Pregnancy Services).
True or False – a majority of moms and dads in the United States feel the role of a father is replaceable by either another man OR by the mother of his children? I will wait here while you put some thought into it…
Would you be shocked if I told you that was true? I know I was! Well, according to a national survey of dads, this is true (Pop’s Culture). Just over half of dads in the US, and even more moms, believe fathers are replaceable in their child’s life. I do not know about you but hearing that hurts my soul. So that means that every other man I meet believes their children would be just fine without them. No wonder 1 in 3 children live without the presence of their biological father in our country. If I believe that I am so irrelevant that I can be substituted by another man, it would only be a matter of time until I stop showing up spiritually, emotionally and eventually physically.
We all know deep down that dads are equally as important to the growth and development of their child as moms. Not more or less, but equal! Yet many men struggle to articulate why they matter. Provider, protector, and disciplinarian are usually the first three things that come to mind for most dads, but those days are long gone. And we all know this. Dadhood today takes many shapes, and there is no single right way to pull it off. They are gentle nurturers, they tell hilarious jokes, make solid jungle gyms and their pancake game is strong. Sure we may identify as the protector of our families, but that should not be our defining role.
This is why the 24/7 Dad program is so important. In this group, we take a holistic approach to parenting education. We do not just focus on discipline strategies or knowledge of children’s growth and development. We examine ourselves in how we are perceived in our families’ eyes –as a man, a partner and a parent. True success in any of these domains cannot happen without progress in all three. We absolutely discuss discipline and stages of growth, but we also discuss masculinity, family history, communication, understanding emotions. co-parenting, and many other topics as well.
24/7 Dad is FREE for all men, regardless of age, with children of all ages or soon-to-be dads who are preparing for the significant journey of Fatherhood. More information about our 24/7 Dad program, visit our Facebook page, here. You can contact me directly via email at Allan.Stockellburg@topsaz.org or phone at 520.284.9817.
To learn more about TOPS (Teen Outreach Pregnancy Services) including who we are, our mission and values, and other programs we offer, visit https://www.teenoutreachaz.org. You can also stop by our Tucson Main Office, located at 3024 E. Fort Lowell Rd. Tucson, Arizona, 85716.
With that I leave you with a lasting thought – Any man can become a father. It takes someone special to be the dad!
– Allan Stockellburg