Zepf Center fatherhood classes teach men how to parent

Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 5:59 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Fathers play an important role in our lives, but being a father isn’t always easy. Now a program from the Zepf Center is teaching fathers in Northwest Ohio how to build healthy relationships with their families and their children.

“I’m understanding that I am important. I do matter to my kids. As much as in some situations, you may think that you don’t matter as much, but kids need their father,” says Charles Brown, who has three kids and has been a father for three years. “I wanted to take a fatherhood class to sharpen up my skills and be an all-around better parent to my kids and a better person to the community,” he says.

He’s enrolled in a class at The Northwest Ohio Fatherhood Connection, a Zepf Center program. Ronald Taylor teaches the class.

“They learn so much about how to be better fathers that no one ever told them before because men are supposed to handle it, well we can’t handle everything,” says Taylor.

The class teaches how to talk to kids and de-escalate conflict, among other things. Taylor says it’s never too late to become a better father.

“Even though we may have some messed up past and some history, that really jacked us up, we have to get back together because we’re still a family,” he says.

The Nurturing Fathers Program is a 6.5-week free course for low-income families. Classes are held twice a week in the mornings, afternoons, or evenings. It’s made possible by a $7.5 million grant from the federal government. That will fund the program for five years - enough time for the program to reach 875 fathers.

Although it may be called a fatherhood class, it’s not really about teaching men to be fathers. It’s actually about teaching fathers to be men.

“It’s just like you kinda feel it. The love from your kid makes you keep going. Makes you want to do better,” says Brown.

For more information, visit the Northwest Ohio Fatherhood Connection Facebook page.

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