Becoming Fathers

Taos, NM 2010

father-babyViolence is at epidemic proportions world wide. In New Mexico statistics of gang violence, suicide, alcoholism and family battering are overwhelming. Today it’s a poor state with a rich multi-cultural history. Taos is a proud community tucked into the Sangre de Cristo mountains suffering in the poor working class economy. Teen pregnancy is still prevalent and single parenting left frequently to teen-age girls. SMMF provided stipends to MEN (Men Engaged in Nonviolence) for them to work one-to-one as mentors for for first time fathers. These young men learned many special important skills unique to male parenting of infants. Furthermore, they were introduced to other programs to help create successful family units. Being in touch with other new fathers helped reduce the tension that comes with responsibility for a child.

The MEN organization has become a tribute to its founders and now serves the whole family as men and women engage in within the home and community.

People have for centuries used fathers as support and structure; however, for from insemination through infancy, mothers have handled the giant share of child-rearing in US culture. Fathers if and when that phase of child rearing became essential for them, puppet what moms did. Thus fathering was just substitute mothering. That has left many young fathers with little knowledge of infancy and how much they can contribute by being fathers, not just substitute mothers. Acquainting these young men with the special role of fathers was one of the most successful projects of MEN of Taos By mentoring from older, wiser men from the community and providing one-to-one fatherhood classes, these new fathers took pride in and an active role during the building of a family. They were introduced to their baby during pregnancy and took early steps with introducing him or her to the world they’d joined.