PCAR to begin nurturing fathers program

CONYERS - A Conyers organization wants to help area fathers improve their relationships with their children.

Starting Tuesday, Prevent Child Abuse Rockdale begins its next session of the Nurturing Fathers Program.

The free program will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. each Tuesday night for 12 weeks. The program will be held at Conyers First United Methodist Church, located at 921 N. Main St. in Conyers.

"They get the opportunity to fine-tune their parenting skills," said Diane Howington, executive director of PCAR, about the program.

During the class, the fathers mainly have discussions and learn about such topics as communication with various aged children, age-appropriate behavior and expectations, role reversal, discipline without violence and fear, managing anger and resolving conflict, problem solving, teamwork and cultural influences, among other topics.

"Many fathers don't realize how important their role is and how much their children need them to be involved in their lives," Howington said.

The program is for any type of father - any age and location, those with any age children, those who live with their children part- or full-time.

"It's open to everybody," Howington said. "We've even had ministers take the classes because they want to be a better father and communicate more effectively with their children."

She said the program also helps the fathers network, so they have others to go to in various situations.

"It's great for them to see someone else with the same type of challenges that they go through," she said. "We all have different levels of need - none of us come into the world knowing how to be a parent ... and we don't have an instructional manual."

The class is aimed at giving fathers tools to handle various situations and also gives them homework for different activities and situations with their children or in other aspects of their lives, Howington said.

"It teaches you how to be proactive instead of reactive," she said.

Beginning in August, PCAR will resume its teen parenting program and a family nurturing program, where all members of the family gather for dinner and break into appropriate classes. PCAR also holds the nurturing fathers program in the Rockdale County Jail year-round and holds various sessions each year at Conyers First United Methodist Church. PCAR also is looking for other churches to host programs in their facilities.

Fathers interested in registering for the summer session of the Nurturing Fathers Program can do so until the day it starts by calling 770-860-1775 or

e-mailing pcarprograms@bellsouth.net.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.