Along with over 500 fathers and children, my children and I recently had the privilege of attending the All Pro Dad’s Baltimore All Pro Dad Father and Kids Experience at M&T Bank Stadium. At the event, Super Bowl Champion Matt Stover spoke very personally about the importance of being a father. My kids enjoyed plenty of fun games and getting their faces painted by clowns who made them balloon animals. I was profoundly touched by the activities centered on practical fatherhood tips and techniques. Through a variety of different football drills, games, and “fatherhood stations,” I was excited to be able to connect with my children in a new way.
Matt Stover, former Baltimore Raven Placekicker along with Eugene Schneeberg, Director of the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Justice with his daughter Genesis and son Eugene .
One of the “fatherhood stations” focused on the importance of Dad’s telling their children that they love them and that they are proud of them. At another station we practiced handing the ball off to each other and scoring a touchdown. After the touchdown, we celebrated by doing a silly dance and giving each other big hugs like NFL players do when they score a touchdown. The facilitator at that station stressed the importance of having fun, being affectionate and hugging your children.
My favorite station was when we were asked to come up with a secret hand sign like those between a quarterback and coach that only my children and I would know. Then, we used that signal to tell each other “I love you.” My six year old son jumped right to it and came up with a great sign. My family and I continue to do our special secret hand signal to this day.
My fathering skills went to another level that day! All Pro Dad is one of many great Fatherhood organizations whose work is right in line with the President’s Fatherhood & Mentoring Initiative.
For more information about All Pro Dad visit: www.AllProDad.com
Eugene Schneeberg is the Director of the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Justice.