FORT WAYNE, Ind, (WFFT) - "Suck it up, you got this, don’t worry about it, man up." These are the messages Greggory Smith-Causey says men often hear when they become dads.
Through his job as the fatherhood program supervisor at Healthier Moms and Babies, Smith-Causey says he needed to help change that stigma.
Smith-Causey explained, "Fathers, men in general, just aren’t necessarily taught to show the other characteristics that go with fathering and parenting."
Along with Healthier Moms and Babies, City Life, and the Boys and Girls Club of Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne United are hosting Real Dad Talks forums on Facebook live.
Iric Headley, executive director of Fort Wayne United, says the talks are all about building a community of men who want to become better father-figures.
"It’s really us bringing our differences to the table and leaving with more similarities and saying that fatherhood is this holistic, this global thing, a concept that we all have to dive into to really make an impact," Headley said.
The forum will focus on shared experiences and the stories of leaders in the community, such as the life of a man at the Rev. Luther Whitfield’s church, New Covenant Worship Center, who does what he can despite not having had a father of his own.
Whitfield recounted, "He’s 70 years old, but still carries the brokenness of a father not being there, you know?," Whitfield said. "Yet he’s still pouring out of his heart into the lives of his grandsons and others, man, and it’s just unbelievable to watch."
Each week, presenters will speak on new topics, talking about both the negatives and positives of being a father, showing them how to be real "relational, engaged, attentive, and loving" dads
"It’s important for fathers to know their place, to understand their place, and willingly accept and move forward in that place," Smith-Causey said.
The forums will take place every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. over on Fort Wayne United’s Facebook page.