September is National Recovery Month and this week we are shining a spotlight on one of Illuminate’s most impactful programs: Circle of Parents.
To achieve our mission to strengthen families, organizations and communities to prevent child maltreatment, Illuminate Colorado is focused on growing Circle of Parents® in Colorado.
This national, evidence-informed model provides a friendly, supportive environment led by parents and other caregivers. Circle groups give anyone in a parenting role a place to openly discuss the successes and challenges of raising children, free from judgment. Growing Circles of Fathers around the state is particularly important to our work. We asked one father to share why his group is important to him and his family.
Read Dave’s Circle of Parents Story . . .
One of the most beautiful gifts on this planet is to be a parent. Parenting comes with beautiful moments and also challenges. It’s the latter that we learn the most about ourselves and our kids.
As a father, it took me some time to, first, admit that I needed help and then more courage to reach out and say “I need help”. I want to share with other parents that even though this gesture sounds simple, it’s important to know I had to overcome how I was raised and my perception of what being a father meant to me to make that connection. It seems so silly now because once I asked the help came flooding, and I mean FLOODING in!
There have been several organizations and groups that have helped me over the years, but my Circle of Fathers group has been the most important to me and continues to be. I could write for some time about everything the group contributes to my life, but I want to highlight the impact it has had on my ability to support my son’s education. You see, I, like many parents, have needed to play a big part in homeschooling my son.
As I continue to raise my son, I watch as his ability to learn grows every day. Honestly, I have no idea what his capacity is yet because it seems to be boundless. I see so many educational opportunities I can incorporate into my son’s life. One of the fathers shared online classes with me and my son loves to do them every week! It’s funny that a small mention of an activity that works at home for one parent can have such a big impact on another child’s life.
My local Circle of Fathers group is strengthening my family every time I connect, which is often. In addition to attending meetings online and in person, checking on our Circle of Fathers Facebook Group posts are now a daily part of my life. The ideas I get from our diverse group of parents have helped me expand my fathering skills and I love it! Every post I read relating to topics my son and I are facing is so inventive, and the tips and tricks that I get from other parents are really ingenious.
I want to thank every parent who takes the time to understand what Circle of Parents means to all the parents getting support in this way. It’s inspirational and a beautiful gift that parenting is connected to countless others who love raising little ones!
I encourage other parents and caregivers to connect and find their Circle.
About the Author
Dave is a proud father to his nine year-old son living in Colorado Springs. He has a deep understanding of what needs to happen at a community level in order to transform systems so that families get the preventative support they need, having experienced homelessness and spends his time helping other fathers make progress in their lives in order to attain greater fulfillment.
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