28/11/2012 - 03:59

Find time to be a dad

28/11/2012 - 03:59


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Find time to be a dad

FATHER’S Day may have come and gone, but it is still timely to do a little reflection on your role as a father.

A good place to start is taking an inventory of how you are going at home with your kids. Consider this

• For how many minutes per day do you give each of your children your undivided attention? Zero? Two? Four? 10 or 20 minutes?

• Where do your children fit on your priority list in relation to money, power, glory, the ‘meaning’ your work gives you?

• Where do they fit in with respect to your leisure activities, your money and your friends?

• What would you be prepared to sacrifice for them?

• Do you show your children that you want to be with them, that it is not a chore for you?

Perhaps you have discovered that your score is not as good as you would have liked. The brutal reality is that time is one of the most rare and precious commodities for busy people.

Children know that too - time spent with children by dads who are busy is very much appreciated by kids (even if they don’t say so at the time).

Indeed such time spent with kids goes a long way to making them feel worthwhile - “if my busy dad is willing to give up time to spend it with me, maybe I am worth something after all”.

The exact place where your time-work balance sits will vary according to your children’s ages. They need more of your focused time when they are young, the very time when it is most tempting to work harder as you try to get yourself established.

Literacy is an essential component of our modem world, so anything a father can do to build his children’s literacy skills is a real bonus. Nursery rhymes are a traditional method of preparing children for early literacy.

Many, many other fathers have gone before you, so why not stop for a moment and listen to their tips on being there for your children when they are little.

Some well-known dads

I love having one-on-one times with the girls, going out for dinner at a restaurant or for a milkshake, or playing soccer together The simple things often end up being special times with them. ”

Justin Langer, Test cricketer

“The strategy I use to get time with my kids is to make my kids my hobby and that works for me. ”

Michael Malthouse, AFL coach

Dr Bruce Robinson leads the University of Western Australia's Fathering Project, a nonprofit team of professionals whose aim is to help fathers realise how important they are in a child’s life and to give them advice on how to encourage their children.

Their work is also aimed at father figures such as grandfathers, stepfathers, uncles, mentors, youth leaders, teachers, pastors and coaches, knowing that many children do not have much father contact at all.

The project hopes to:

• Help fathers realise how important they are in a child’s life and to give them advice on how to encourage their children.

• Encourage fathers to get involved early with their children- become pro-active.

• Help fathers and father figures get connected in positive ways.

• Provide handy hints and tips for busy fathers or partners.

• Reach fathers in their situation: schools, workplaces, community groups.

• Use research-based evidence to encourage positive change in fathers.

From www.thefatheringproject.org


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