Basic training for dads

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- Many first-time dads have questions and concerns regarding fatherhood. In efforts to help ease their concerns and help answer their questions, the Whiteman Family Advocacy Program has a class exclusively designed for a male audience. 

"Dads: The Basics" is a course intended to help expecting and new fathers learn skills needed to care for infants, and discuss concerns about fatherhood, providing them with modernized tools to help guide them through the arrival of their new addition. 

"The family advocacy program understands fathers want to take their very best first steps into fatherhood and Dads: The Basics can certainly arm fathers with the most updated and advanced information," said Jeannine Johnson, outreach manager of Family Advocacy Program. "The idea of the workshop is for dads to gain a better perspective on becoming a father while having fun." 

As a former student of Dads: The Basics and instructor of an upcoming course, Vincent Haecker said he looks forward to circulating his knowledge and teaching the program. 

"It's typical for new fathers to be loaded with questions," Mr. Haecker said. "Unfortunately, a newborn child does not come with a manual; this course provides educational material designed with fathers in mind." 

Ms. Johnson said that dads will learn how to care for, feed, bathe, diaper and soothe a new baby using calming techniques from the book Happiest Baby on the Block written by Dr. Harvey Karp, expert child pediatrician. 

"This course helped my husband and me communicate better and prepare for the arrival of our daughter," said Tech. Sgt. Felicia Haecker, NCO in charge of the First Term Airmen Center. "I would encourage any new or expectant father to take the course. It really helped us. I wish they had a mom basic course. It sounds like fun." 

The next Dads: The Basics course is scheduled for Nov. 14 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Airman and Family Readiness Center. Reservations are required 24 hours prior to the workshop. To find out more about this course and others offered by FAP, call Ms. Johnson at (660) 687-4341.

Editor's note: This is the third and final article in a three-part series highlighting programs offered by the Whiteman Family Advocacy Outreach Program.