Some Iowa fathers are working at getting better at the job. A counselor who works with men in prison says some of them missed Father’s Day this month but they’re working on it. Phil Jorgenson is facilitator for a father’s group at a Des Moines jail work-release group.He says they’re fathers who have kids at home while they’re in jail, and they have limited contact with those kids. The men he works with aren’t ordered into counseling as part of their sentence, but Jorgenson says they want to learn how to be a part of their kids’ lives. These men don’t want to be what their fathers were to them, he explains. “Those fathers were abusive to their kids, and they learned to be dads by watching their own fathers… which wasn’t always productive.” Jorgenson says the men he works with need some positive suggestions for ways to raise kids. Jorgenson says his programs, they want to learn to be good dads, and even do discipline without hurting the kids. In Parents Anonymous they learn that while discipline is sometimes necessary, it can be accomplished without hurting them. Jorgenson also teaches workshops for fathers and moms too, for neighborhood and church groups. He says while the role of fathers has changed and grown today, the most important advice he can give them is to love them…and show that.
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