The Family Advocacy Program offered a “Talk, Listen, Learn” workshop to the Regimental Sup-port Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, Friday at the Spirit of Fort Hood Chapel, to provide the Soldiers with an open space to communicate and receive immediate feedback from their instructors.
The exercise was broken up into two different sessions – a morning and an afternoon session. The sessions began with a stress, anger and conflict management course, which was open to everyone. From there, the sessions were broken up into three individual classes: relationship enrichment, parenting, and preparation for marriage.
The three breakout sessions were all designed to meet individual Soldiers’ needs. The idea for small-group discussions between the Soldiers, family members and instructors was intended to make the environment feel more comfortable for those attending the class.
“We encourage more units to reach out to us, because if we can come to the units in a smaller setting like this, we can have a more personal, better discussion,” Mary Prater, the parenting instructor with FAP, said.
This is the first time that FAP has brought its “Talk, Listen, Learn” workshop to an individual unit, placing more emphasis on group participation and hands-on interactions.
“We find that, on a smaller scale, people feel more comfortable,” Prater explained. “They might be willing to ask that question that they wouldn’t have asked in a more crowded environment.”
Offering classes tailored toward different types of relationships, FAP is able to provide their students a variety of diverse life advice.
Andrew Dixon, the preparation for marriage instructor with FAP, said people receive training in order to operate a motor vehicle or even join the military, yet they receive no training before marriage, something he believes is needed.
“(Soldiers) make a commitment to the military, but the most important commitment we can make is to another human being, in marriage,” Dixon said.
FAP places a strong emphasis on positive relationships to provide Soldiers with healthy, happy lives outside of the workplace.
Having positive relationships at work can be just as important as having them at home, Prater said.
The stress, anger and conflict management course encourages behavioral changes in Soldiers’ lives that promote self-care and healthy relationships, both off and on duty.
“I wish I had better stress management and coping skills when I was deployed,” 1st Lt. Ashlynn Adwell, the troop executive officer with Regimental Support Sqdn., who attended the class on Friday, said. “Classes like these should be mandatory for any unit that’s set to deploy.”
FAP offers evening workshops as well to encourage Soldiers’ family members to participate.
“We’re here for our Soldiers and their family members, so if anyone is interested, please give us a call at our Family Advocacy Program at 254-286-6774,” Prater said.