Pleasant Grove offers course for fathers who want to be better dads

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If you’re a dad looking to be an even better dad, there’s a class for you.

This month, Pleasant Grove Recreation started offering a course called 24/7 Dad. It teaches the five characteristics of the 24/7 father: self-awareness, caring for self, fathering skills, parenting skills and relationship skills.

“It’s a whole-man approach,” said Dalin Belt, who teaches the classes and others for Healthy Relationships Utah. Fathers have a unique role, so this course teaches them how to handle emotions, how to better be involved in their children’s lives and how to set healthy limits.

The course lasts five weeks, and this one started on Nov. 9, he said. There’s another 24/7 Dad session starting in January. He’ll teach the course at the Macey’s in Pleasant Grove. And it’s free.

“We really get quite a variety” of people at the classes, he said. There are new dads and dads whose kids are older. He’s even had a dad who came with his son, who was about to become a dad himself.

“My belief about these is they’re not for dads who need help. They’re for dads who already are good dads and want to be better.” — Dalin Belt, instructor

One of the reasons the course is so valuable is it takes something that’s so hard — parenting — and uses research and evidence to provide skills that make parenting easier.

Women are welcome to attend, and sometimes do, but this course is tailored to fathers. “It pulls on research for fathers,” Belt said. “We are targeting fathers.”

The course is part of a National Fatherhood Initiative. In 2015, Hawaii conducted a study using the program. The preliminary results showed that the course “enhanced the father’s knowledge and skills, increased father involvement and improved the father’s relationship with his children.”

Even though the course seeks to improve fathers’ parenting skills, Belt said he doesn’t think it’s for dads who need help.

“My belief about these is they’re not for dads who need help,” he said. “They’re for dads who already are good dads and want to be better,” he said. “They’re showing real strength as fathers. No one is perfect and everyone can benefit from these classes.”

If you’re interested in signing up for the 24/7 Dad course in January, go to Eventbrite. Also, for more information about Healthy Relationships Utah or for other parenting classes, go to healthyrelationshipsutah.org.

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Amie Rose has more than 14 years of experience writing and editing at newspapers in Utah and New Mexico. She graduated from BYU with a degree in journalism. She lives in Utah Valley with her husband, toddler and crazy dog.

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