June 15, 2014 7:53 pm
Updated: June 16, 2014 7:28 am

Father involvement network developing in Saskatchewan

Watch the video above: Dad developing father involvement network

SASKATOON – Boot camp for new fathers coordinator Blair Pisio is starting a new initiative that aims to widen Saskatchewan’s network for dads.

“We’re calling it the Saskatchewan father involvement network and it’s in its very early stages,” said Pisio.

The organization will support and promote responsible fatherhood through resources and research.

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It’s modeled after similar networks in Alberta, B.C. and Ontario.

Pisio said parenting has changed over the past 50 years and a father’s network is needed in the province.

“When my mother was born, her dad wasn’t at the birth,” Piso explained.

“Fathers would maybe be in the waiting room, pacing around, smoking a cigar but they weren’t present as we encourage dads to be now.”

Pisio said many dads are keen to have the same support and education that’s offered to mothers.

Martin Gaal was one of the participants in Pisio’s workshops on Father’s Day.

He has a PhD and is a veteran traveler, but despite all his knowledge, before his daughter was born he had no idea how to change a diaper.

Gaal knew he had to prepare himself, but said parenting books weren’t enough.

“Every book contradicts each other, so when it comes to babies, there are a million resources out there but none of them agree on anything,” said Gaal.

“Most of the books are geared mostly towards mom. Even the websites I look at, they’re mostly mom sites.”

Gaal said the boot camp gave him the opportunity to learn from a dad’s perspective.

According to Pisio, expectant dads are often more withdrawn in pre-natal classes with their partners, while at the boot camp it’s easier for them to open up.

He aims to hold the official network launch next Father’s Day.

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