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Being a 24/7 father, a life-long lesson

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Rebecca Van Syoc
  • 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Fatherhood can be a challenge, especially for new fathers, someone who didn’t have a father figure or someone who wants to become a better father for their children. It’s equally challenging to know where to turn for resources to help answer questions like ‘how does my relationship with work affect my family?’ or ‘what does it mean to be a 24/7 father?’

In situations like these, the Airman & Family Readiness Center has begun offering a special class called Fatherhood EFFECT: Educating Fathers for Empowering Children Tomorrow, to help answer those questions and many others. It is offered in partnership with the Baptist Child & Family Services Health and Human Services in Abilene, Texas, to assist new and current fathers of children under the age of 17.

“It’s important to take a class like this because we should never stop learning,” said Tim Morgan, BCFS Health and Human Services parent educator. “It’s important for fathers to learn the fundamentals that come with that role so they can have a good relationship with their children and spouse. When you have a child, they don’t come with a manual for how to be a good dad.”

The first cycle of the class began in early October with several Airmen and their spouses taking part in what it had to offer.

“When I heard about this class, I thought it would be really helpful for me,” said Darrius Applewhite, spouse of Airman 1st Class Dominique Applewhite, 7th Logistics Readiness Squadron inbound cargo specialist. “I have one son and another on the way, and being able to learn these lessons and hear from the instructor’s own personal experiences as a father is really helpful.”

There are several concepts taught within the class, including co-parenting, work-family balance, priorities and being a 24/7 father.

“Being a 24/7 father simply means that you are a father all the time; you don’t get to take a break from the responsibility,” Morgan said. “Understanding how your actions, decisions and attitude can affect your children and family is part of that concept.”

While the class has concluded for the calendar year, it will return as a resource for Airmen and their families in 2019.

“The feedback we get from those who took part in this initial class will go into how we organize the next one after the holidays,” Morgan said. “For example, making each class longer and including more military challenges, such as deployments, that make it hard for a father and his family.”’

Fatherhood can be a challenge, but it is not one without resources available to help current and future fathers.

“The goal isn’t to be the perfect father,” Morgan said. “The goal is just to be the best you can be.”

To learn more about Fatherhood EFFECT and other classes available through the A&FRC, please call (325) 696-5999 or visit the website below: