If you’re worried about how to better your dad skills, you’re probably already a rockstar dad. But this Annual Dad’s Conference is a great way to keep growing.
For the past 10 years I have been a father. Not just any old father; I’ve been the very best father I know how to be.
I’m confident in making that statement because I’ve actively worked to better myself for my children. One way I did this was by seeking advice from and sharing stories with other men who were trying to navigate fatherhood in a responsible and caring way. Which, by the way, is one of the main reasons I enjoy The Good Men Project.
There are a lot of opportunities for dads to learn from each other in an informal setting. Those who have brothers or cousins might call them up to ask their advice on handling a problem. Others will be more comfortable casually asking other dads on the playground or at a sporting event. And while these casual talks can teach us a lot about dealing with day to day life as a father, I’ve found that it didn’t provide the big picture discussion I was also looking for.
However, that need was filled seven years ago when I discovered the Partnership for Dad’s “Annual Father’s Conference.” And every year since, I’ve looked forward to attending and always walk away feeling inspired, hopeful, and excited about all the positive things happening around fatherhood.
Today I bring a large helping of awesome to the table, ready to share with you. The conference takes place this Saturday in Detroit and is well worth the drive (or flight). They’ve got the formula just right. I’m an introvert by nature, so it takes a lot to get me out in public and talking about myself, but this event always has me counting down the days. Here’s why I’m so excited about attending:
- The workshops appeal to a diverse group and don’t discriminate based on gender, age, topic or your definition of fatherhood.
- It’s easy to feel safe and ask questions of any kind.
- There’s free food.
- It’s a reminder that I’m not the only one who isn’t 100% sure what I’m doing.
- The opportunity to be in the company of fathers who want to learn more about fathering. (This alone is powerful and reason enough to attend.)
- You’ll leave feeling empowered and transformed; refreshed anew for another year.
I go not because I feel deficient but because I want to hone something. Or remember a skill. Or learn something new. If nothing else I go just to remind myself of things I want to do. It gives me a chance to stop, catch my breath, and remember that I am a father, a husband, and all the things that make these roles important to me.
This conference won’t solve all your fatherhood struggles, but it will give you the opportunity to hear how other fathers are doing things, coping, balancing, and being creative. Traditionally there is limited information sharing for fathering. Especially in times like these where families are more spread out than they were a generation ago, making advice and sharing of tips not as easy. But with this conference, you’ll walk out knowing more about fathering, and maybe even yourself. No matter how much I think I know, I always learn something new, or remember things I forgot.
The conference is this Saturday, February 12th in the Detroit suburbs.
Photo: Getty Images