The Edmonton Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) is currently partnering with the Centre for Family Literacy to offer a Daddy and Me Program to Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) fathers and their young children.
The program encourages fathers to share and interact with each other in an informal and safe environment while teaching them the connection between reading and successful speech-language development in their young children.
“We hope to promote the significance of the father and child connection, especially during the critical first year of development. Reading, rhyming and singing together will foster that connection and reinforce the importance of dads spending time with their young children,” said Nancy Defer, children’s program coordinator, Edmonton, Military Family Resource Centre.
Daddy and Me is being facilitated at the Edmonton MFRC for the first time. However, a civilian group has been running at the Centre for Family Literacy for approximately five years.
The facilitator will discuss which types of books are best for babies, and there will be conversations around communication and healthy child-development in children under one year of age. A wide assortment of books will be available as examples.
“Age appropriate songs and rhymes will be taught and demonstrated to fathers and their children, and then light snacks will be provided and time allotted for dads to socialize with other like-minded parents. The hour ends with dads receiving a new book to share with their child at home,” said Defer.
Darren Hinger is the Daddy and Me Program facilitator at the Edmonton MFRC. He believes the program is a way for new fathers to learn from each other, share common parenting experiences and ask questions about communicating with their children without being judged.
Hinger has also seen fathers grow closer to their children because they are more confident and comfortable using communication skills they learned with the group.
Daddy and Me is designed so parents who want to introduce their babies to the English language through English songs and rhymes feel comfortable and learn new techniques.
The program is running for one hour on Saturday mornings for four consecutive weeks. Everything required to offer the program to the fifteen registered families including snacks, books and blankets will be provided by the facilitator.
For more information about Daddy and Me and other children’s programs offered by the Edmonton MFRC please visit their website.
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