June 11, 2003 – On Wednesday night, men throughout the territory are getting together in small groups in all sorts of settings to talk about marriage and other things that have to do with being a father.
It's the fourth annual "Fathers' Night Out" event presented by the Fatherhood Collaborative of the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands. Each year the theme for discussion has been different, and "marriage" is the topic for 2003.
The conversations will focus not on what one "ought" to do, but on what makes for a successful marriage from the perspective of what a man contributes and receives in the relationship as husband and father, and how this benefits the family as a whole.
Even though many of the meetings have been planned for Wednesday evening, there are opportunities for others to be organized and held in coming days, according to Richard L. Brown, Fatherhood Collaborative founder and coordinator. Men wishing to host groups later this month are encouraged to put their own small groups of friends, associates and/or family members together, then call the foundation office at 774-6031 to make arrangements.
The foundation provides a discussion guide for group hosts and free T-shirts bearing "10 Tips for Fathers." The T-shirts aren't directly intended for the participants, however; they're for their children.
The shirts are to be given to children and young people, for them in turn to give to their dads as Father's Day gifts. "The shirts are a way to acknowledge the positive role that fathers play in the lives of their children," Brown said. "It is also a way for children to remind their fathers of what they need from them."
To arrange to pick up a T-shirt, call the CFVI office on St. Thomas or stop by — it's in Royal Dane Mall above Beans Bytes and Websites.
10 Tips for Fathers
1. Be there.
3. Support your partner.
4. Disagree appropriately with your partner.
5. Know and be known in your child's world.
6. Know and be know to your children's friends and their parents.
7. Play with your children.
8. Teach by example.
9. Discipline with love.
10. Keep your sense of humor.
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