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Fathers receive help balancing AF, children

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Emily A. Bradley
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
The 36th Medical Group provides a free workshop called 24/7 Dads, which helps fathers overcome the trials and challenges that come with being a parent.

The 24/7 Dads program was started by the National Fatherhood Initiative which teaches innovative tools, strategies and exercises for expectant fathers, fathers with young children, fathers with teens and father figures.

Throughout the program, dads can openly discuss their own personal stories, ideas and techniques to apply in their own homes. It also allows them to discuss problems and possibly come up with resolutions with other fathers who might have experienced the same situations.

"Being a dad is awesome and incredibly rewarding, but it's not always easy," said Capt. (Dr.) David Shwalb, 36th Medical Operations Squadron clinical psychologist. "It takes a lot of time, energy, effort and commitment to become a good dad. It also takes a lot of help from others, including the mother, other fathers, role models and programs such as this one."

The informal workshop, which is one session offered quarterly, focuses on each aspect of being a father. The discussion includes anger management, communication skills, romantic relationships and activities with children. The program also highlights the importance of self-care, such as coping with anger, power, control, stress, alcohol and work.

"It is an outlet for the participants to gather and share their stories in an open warm environment," said Lori Naputi, 36th MDOS education services facilitator. "They can use this time to vent their frustrations and receive advice."

The program was launched on Guam in June 2012 to coincide with Father's Day.

"Father's Day provides an opportunity for fathers to reflect on what kind of dad they are and the dad they want to be," Shwalb said.

The workshop is five hours hours long, with free catered food and participants are authorized to wear civilian attire. The open discussion is hosted by the 36th MDOS in the lighthouse on base from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on a date to be announced. For more information or to be put on the list for the next meeting, contact the Andersen Family Advocacy Program at 366-5167.

To all the fathers of Team Andersen, military, civilian and spouses, happy Father's Day!

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