Fathers learn to relate to their children through CA R3 Academy classes

UNION CITY, Calif. (KGO) -- A new program created for fathers is taking off in California. It's called R3 Academy. In the past six months -- more than 400 dads have taken the course which teaches them how to relate better with their children and spouses.

Gurmukh Maude had a rocky relationship with his two sons. Now he claims he's a changed man. "I know how to deal with them. Before it was 'my way or the highway,' but now we can talk and now I'm listening to them and sometimes children make sense," says Maude.

That change came after attending a 12-week class called R3 Academy led by Bento Leal.

"When I ask all the dads, I ask them right away what is the biggest challenge to being a dad. Almost everyone raises their hands and says I get too impatient when I get impatient, I get too upset and goes downhill from there," explained Leal.

For two hours at a time, once a week, Maude learned the tools needed to listen. That led to a better relationship with his sons, wife, and even his co-workers.

Maude says now his sons hug and kiss him, something they never did before.

"They don't know how to speak to their daughter, how to be that role model for their son, or how to stay in touch with him or her," said KenYetta Agregado, who is the assistant principal at Itliong-Vera Cruz Middle School in Union City. She sees fathers who don't know what to do when their kids struggle.

R3 Academy is funded by a federal grant. Fathers are also taught how to manage their money and look for better jobs. The next course starts on Oct. 12 at Itliong-Vera Cruz.

Fathers who are interested in doing the class should first attend an informational night. The first one is Thursday at the school, from 6 to 7 p.m.
Copyright © 2019 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.