Celebrating fathers who are making a change

During the month of June, many families across Oklahoma will celebrate Father’s Day. But some families won’t because the father isn’t present, either by choice or by order of the state.

Many fathers in our programs look forward to the day that they can once again celebrate Father’s Day, birthdays, and other special occasions with their children.

Kyle is one such father. After 16 years of marriage, Kyle went through a bitter divorce involving his minor children. His anger and frustration at his spouse’s addiction played out in threats toward others that became an increasing problem. After charges were filed, Kyle spent some time in jail and became involved in a DHS case for his youngest child.

During that process, Kyle realized the first thing that he needed to change was himself.

“I had to fix Kyle,” he said. “I had to look at myself.”

But he didn’t know where to start with fixing what was wrong. And then he found Family Builders, where he has completed our Nurturing Parenting Skills program and Compassion Workshop. He’s also in the process of completing our Batterers Intervention Program, a 52-week program certified by the office of the Attorney General.

“The first and most important thing you learn is to be accountable for your actions,” he said.

Kyle also talks about how much he has learned about children through the program. He has three children, two of whom are almost grown, and said he never knew any of the things he learned in the program.

When talking to other people who’ve gone through the program, he says the feeling of “Man, I wish I had known this before” is a common thread.

“Until you understand and learn these things, you can’t pass them on,” he said. “I didn’t learn them as a child. How can you pass them on if you never learned them?”

Each week when Kyle sits in class at Family Builders, he thinks about the importance of breaking the cycle of abuse and being the change in his family. He also realizes that if he’d had the right mindset and the right tools earlier in life, he would be fishing with his son instead of attending the program.

“He’s on one side of this, and I’m on the other,” Kyle said. “The most important thing I can do is break the cycle.”

Learn more about Kyle’s journey in this video.

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