Thoughtful Parenting: Preparing to step into the new normal |

Thoughtful Parenting: Preparing to step into the new normal

COVID-19 has made for an interesting year in Routt County. The virus and related public health regulations deprived locals from engaging our friends and neighbors in the ways we were used to, and at the same time, countless new families have joined our community, seeking a positive change in their way of life.

The previous 16 months have been a rough experience as health concerns, unemployment and adjusting to homeschooling were in the forefront of parents’ minds. With the pandemic seemingly making its way into the rearview mirror, families — both new and old — are coming out of hibernation, ready to enjoy the great offerings of our county.

As we prepare to step into a new normal, we should take time to reflect on how this period has impacted our collective mental health and support systems. Furthermore, we will need to be intentional on how we re-acclimate to our old routines and habits as they might be rusty and need some updating to meet the evolving demands of our family and community.

This summer, the Fatherhood Program of Routt County will be hosting the Nurturing Fathers Program, an eight-week, evidence-based program that helps develop the parenting and nurturing skills of men in Routt County. Since 2014, the NFP has been an integral part of the Fatherhood Program and offers a great opportunity for dads to connect and build a reliable network to support one another.

Child care and dinner will be provided at each in-person session, giving partners a night off each Thursday for the duration of the program. To accommodate those who do not feel comfortable with meeting in person, the event will be accessible via Zoom, as well as in-person at Old Town Hot Springs.

Every week, we will work together to address current issues faced by the group, in addition to discussing a number of important topics that impact our ability to be a partner and a parent, including:

• How our childhood experiences impact our parenting

• Managing stress

• Effective discipline

• Modeling emotions

• Teamwork with our partner or ex-partner

• Communication and problem solving

We invite dads, new and old to the community, to join us. It’s a great opportunity to build new connections and sharpen the parenting skill set to face the challenges ahead.

If you go

What: Nurturing Fathers Program

When: 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday evenings June 10 to Aug. 5

Where: Old Town Hot Springs, 136 S. Lincoln Ave., or via Zoom

Cost: $75 for eight weeks — child care and dinner included; scholarships available

More information: Contact Tom Valand with the Fatherhood Program at 970-875-4229 or or visit

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