Strong Start™, is a series of coaching sessions for new fathers, starting before the baby arrives. While all caregivers benefit from our program, we focus on the roughly 50% of parents who are male: men parent differently, learn differently, and are able to make unique and vital contributions to the life of their children and the mental wellbeing of the entire family.
- Men meet for a special prenatal class. This cohort (“Dad Team”) offers peer support throughout the journey of early parenting. This “before baby” session focuses on mindfulness; habit management; child development and the parent’s role; being an effective partner, and leadership.
- The team meets again after birth – for check in and support, and to prepare for expected upcoming challenges.
- The team has three more “practices” in which men bring in their babies and meet in smaller groups. The children play freely while the men learn from the coach, each other, and their babies. The focus is on developing attunement, and habits of interaction that support their children’s development, specifically agency and executive function. This “real-time feedback” also covers creating and working in healthy mutually-supportive relationships.
While specific issues are covered, such as eating, sleeping, tantrums, mobility, risk/safety, the parent partnership, language development and early literacy, boundaries, socialization, etc, our work focuses on developing a core set of behavioral strengths, communication habits and effective perspective that will help throughout the parenting journey.
In these sessions, we work from our 3-part Say/Seen/See Model:
- “Say” how you communicate with your child (and your partner)
- “Seen” how you, and boundaries, are seen by your child
- “See” how you see yourself, your child, their growth, and your role in various situations
In a just few hours, fathers gain knowledge, confidence, perspective, and specific skills that will help them, and thus their family, for the rest of their lives.