166 days later | RGV father reunites with son after parenting education

“I felt like she took my heart, cut it into pieces, smashed it into smaller pieces and then gave it back to me,” Steve Carrizales said about his pending divorce. He was hurt by the decision he and his wife had made but knew he still had to be present in his son’s life -- no matter what.

At first, his focus was about feeling sad for his wife’s departure. But he knew he had to pull himself and be a dad for his son.

“Even though I consider myself to be a good father, I knew I had to learn new fathering skills because my life was going to change drastically," he said. His focus shifted from feeling bad about himself to understanding he had to relearn effective fathering skills that made him present even when he was not.

As Steve tried to find meaning and direction in this situation, he decided to join the 24/7 DAD Fatherhood class at the Buckner Family Hope Center in Penitas, Texas, because he knew the person most affected by the divorce was his son, Salvador. Steve told Hope Center staff that he felt a lot of stress, especially since he hadn't seen his son in 166 days. He wanted to be sure to be ready when they were finally reunited.

Thankfully, after 166 days, Steve had the opportunity to hug his son. He said he was so grateful for the program because it helped him see other perspectives about fathering like being present when you don't necessarily feel like it. Also, he said the class helped him focus on the little things that matter which he sometimes took for granted.

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