– SINGLE FATHERS’ CLUB –
-> Self-help groups, i.e. groups of people with common problems, are very popular in many countries. These people have meetings and talk about their problems. They try to find answers for their problems together.
There are hundreds of groups of men and women who want to lose weight or give up drinking, who are single mothers or unmarried mothers.
Now groups for single fathers are also starting to appear. This is the story of a group for single fathers. It started when a radio announcer, John McCarthy, was reading an announcement for a single mothers’ group.
After he read the announcement, he said, “I’m a single father. I’ve got two sons. My wife died two years ago. I look after my children on my own and I have a lot of problems. I’m sure there are a lot of other men who have lost their wives. So we need a group, too”. Two single fathers, Henry Mason and Paul Singer, heard his message on the radio and called him and they decided to meet.
These three men started the first single fathers’ group in the US on May 5th, 1988. After 6 months, there were 30 fathers in the group called “Single Fathers’ Club”. There are doctors, students, mechanics, a bus-driver, a television producer, a few businessmen and several men who are unemployed.
They meet every Tuesday night. They talk about problems, such as how to look after a child with a temperature, where to find milk at 6 a.m., how to help children who don’t sleep well at night, or what foods are best for their children. The fathers feel these meetings help them. They say the difficult part for men is just learning to talk to other men about anything really personal.