Dad’s love and intuition

Father

My father never told me… he was not a talkative man… but the way he looked at me, the way he treated me made me feel that way. I never stop admiring how my dad seemed to always intuitively know what was the best for me, without reading any fancy parenting books or having any teaching degrees. I never stopped feeling his silent love.

At the time when men were rarely actively involved in parenting, my dad was always there for me, taking me for long walks, bathing me, putting me to sleep, calming all my fears… And I was a very fearful child scared of everything imaginable: darkness, heights, being alone, fights and arguments, snakes, worms, caterpillars, mice and rats to name a few…

Protection

Dad always asked the right questions, listened without making any assumptions or twisting the meaning of what he heard. Even when he disagreed, he rarely argued – he always found another way… Like the time when I saw him chopping the wood and then picked up his axe. “Don’t touch my axe”, he said. “Why? If you can chop the wood, why can’t I?” “Because you are not much bigger than that axe and I don’t want you to chop your head off”, he patiently explained. “Don’t worry,” I laughed. “My head is probably the only part of my body that I’ll never be able to chop off.” He did not argue, but made sure no axe was ever left within my reach…

Eye

Dad never used gender stereotypes. He never told me that I am a girl and therefore should behave or do things in a certain way. He just accepted me the way I was, without trying to mould me into anything else. It felt like a breath of fresh air, a welcome break from my mum’s and grandma’s constant nagging: “You are a girl, so you should be dressed like this, you should talk like that, you should do this and don’t do that….” I could never quite comprehend where my mum and grandma got all those dos and don’ts, which somehow I always managed to get wrong…

Girl

While my dad rarely expressed himself in words, he had other ways of getting his point across. His communication toolbox included not only admiring looks, but also silent staring, rolling eyes, raised eyebrows, all sorts of winks and a million of other facial expressions. I’m sure, there were some pulled hair too every now and then…

Staring

While parenting my own children, I met a lot of truly amazing dads and learnt lots more from them than from any parenting books or my teaching degrees. I never stopped admiring their creativity, ability to make any activity fun, patience, intuition and perfectly balanced approach to setting boundaries to provide maximum opportunities for challenges and freedom while keeping all risks under control.

Father and daughter

It never stops puzzling me however that so many dads rarely recognise their amazing parenting abilities and intuition and are often quick to retreat and silence their views on parenting. Something that Celia Lashlie also noted in her book “He’ll be OK”.

Do not doubt your parenting skills. Follow your heart, trust your intuition and have fun.

Children do change us and our lives in lots of ways. Enjoy this special period in your life, treasure all the wonderful moments you are having with your children and stop pulling out your hair over not-so-wonderful ones….

Credits:

My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it…

FatherFrom Facebook Covers

Today I watched one of the best movies I’ve ever seen called The Pursuit of Happyness. This film is based on Chris Gardner’s nearly one-year struggle with homelessness described in his memoir with the same title. At the age of twenty, Chris Gardner, just out of the Navy, arrived in San Francisco to pursue a promising career in medicine. Considered a prodigy in scientific research, he surprised everyone and himself by setting his sights on the competitive world of high finance. Yet no sooner had he landed an entry-level position at a prestigious firm than Gardner found himself caught in a web of incredibly challenging circumstances that left him as part of the city’s working homeless and with a toddler son. Motivated by the promise he made to himself as a fatherless child to never abandon his own children, the two spent almost a year moving among shelters, “HO-tels,” soup lines, and even sleeping in the public restroom of a subway station. Never giving in to despair, Gardner made an astonishing transformation from being part of the city’s invisible poor to being a powerful player in its financial district.

Loved this inspirational story of an amazing man who went through lots of hardships in life but never lost hope, never gave up and never abandoned his child.

I’ve met such man once in my life when I was working in an orphanage. He lost his wife and was left alone with 3 little children during the most turbulent period in Russia after the collapse of the USSR. He was working on a factory, but was paid nothing for 5 months. He had no money to feed his children, therefore he brought them to the orphanage so that they could get some food and clothes. He joined our orphanage as well as a night-time supervisor to stay close to his children. For a few months he kept working on a factory during the day while staying at the orphanage during the night, supervising children. As soon as he could, he took his children back home. Truly amazing man. Hope his children appreciate his hard work and caring heart…

Let’s honor such humble unsung heros who are working very hard to make this world a better place for their children.

Real Fathers, Real Men

real-fathers-real-men
From Real Fathers, Real Men

Last weekend I spotted a lot of Father’s Day messages on my Facebook. Father’s Day is a celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. Many countries celebrate it on the third Sunday of June, but it is also celebrated widely on other days.

Children need involved fathers in every aspect of their lives. Researchers found that the love – or rejection – of mothers and fathers affects kids’ behavior, self-esteem, emotional stability, and mental health. When dads aren’t around, young people are more likely to drop out of school, use drugs, be involved in the criminal justice system, and become young parents themselves.

Zhai Haijun notes that a considerable body of scientific literature points to the fact that children whose fathers are involved in their lives tend to be more advanced linguistically, perform better in school and are better adjusted psychologically. Fathers are important role models for their children. Boys especially benefit greatly from having a male role model. Boys and girls benefit tremendously from the example provided by a loving and caring mother and father. A mother who enjoys a good relationship with her husband is happier and this in turn helps her to be a better mother. No doubt, both parents benefit from being able to share the burdens of raising a family. This is even more true today at a time when fathers are more likely to play an active part in household activities and child rearing.

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From A Daddy Blog

As Zhai Haijun points out, being a dad is also a great learning experience for a father. “In a very real sense, in being a father I also learned a great deal about myself, about life and the world. Fatherhood provided an invaluable window to my own past through which I was able to gain a better view of my own upbringing, sense of identity and perspective on the present. Being a father also provides one with a valuable “future” perspective. Fathers are concerned about the world that their children will inherit. Fathers want to make and leave a legacy of a better world than they themselves experienced.”

17129E08-6957-11E1-B001-B7A79E3B0986From Great Quotes

Unfortunately, fatherlessness is a growing problem in Australia and the Western world. Whether caused by divorce and broken families, or by deliberate single parenting, more and more children grow up without fathers. Fortunately, there are lots of good men in the wider family and community who can provide support and become good role-models for children who are growing without their biological fathers.

Let’s honor all those special – the real men every day, not just on Father’s day!

the-real-father
From The Real Father

Resources:

There is too much fathering going on…

“There is too much fathering going on just now and there is no doubt about it fathers are depressing.”

Gertrude Stein

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Dad frm LoveBeingDad
From ‘I love being dad’

‘What’s the one thing about your dad you would change if you could?’

Time and again the answer came: ‘He’d get his sense of humour back.’

Not “He’d get a sense of humour’ but ‘He’d get his sense of humour back‘.  It seems to me – from a woman’s perspective – that you’re great with your little fellows: you roll around on the floor, you fight, you have a lot of fun. And then the moment comes when you’re not getting up off the floor unless he lets you, and in that instant a wee switch goes down in the back of the male brain, and you say to yourselves, ‘OK, I need to be a proper father now.’

So you stand up ready and willing to be a proper father and meanwhile he’s looking around thinking, ‘I wonder where my dad went, because this grumpy old bastard sure isn’t him.’…

A common theme of the conversations I had with many of the students was their lack of what they considered a real father-son relationship. Many had either no or only intermittent contact with their dads…. Those students whose fathers were physically present in their lives weren’t always there emotionally… He doesn’t want you to give up work, to look after him 24 hours a day or to completely invade his world… What he does want is for you to know what his favourite food is, what music he likes, who his best friend is, what scared him and what his dreams are… He wants you to connect with him as he is now, not as you might want him to be..The other thing you don’t have to do is to lecture him…. You just have to be prepared to answer any questions he asks as honestly as you can when he asks it…

Continue to be who you are, continue to walk beside him and he’ll be the good man he has the potential to become. And you’ll both have a great deal of fun along the way.”

from “He’ll be OK: Growing gorgeous boys into good men” by Celia Lashlie

dad teenager
from ‘Courageous’

Fathers in today’s modern families…

“Fathers in today’s modern families can be so many things.”
Oliver Hudson
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 “A father once more at 40, Peter Walker is disappointed about how media promote stereotypes that bear no resemblance to reality…

What I find most difficult to cope with are the stereotypes. Like the mobile phone ad on TV where a seemingly incompetent dad has to call his wife every five minutes because the baby is making noises. Everywhere you turn, especially in the media, there’s another bumbling idiot who can’t even change a nappy without mum supervising and correcting.

On Mother’s Day, the Sunday Star-Times ran a full-page ad for AMP. It announced “It’s not easy being a mother. If it were easy, fathers would do it.” Now, I have no idea what that means, but it definitely sounds derogatory to fathers…

Women no longer have a monopoly on performing multiple roles. I don’t think they ever did. Fathers, too, are nurse, cook, psychologist, taxi-driver, teacher, comforting shoulder, story-teller, coach and motivational guru.

Dads get up in the middle of the night to tuck little ones back into bed. Dads’ hearts break when their children cry and there doesn’t seem to be any consoling them. Dads cringe at skinned knees and feel deeply proud at school productions. Dads need cuddles, too, and cherish milestones and the moments when they truly connect with their children.

Dads sometimes doubt themselves, but by and large, men are sensitive to the needs of their children. They want to be good role models. They want to nurture and raise healthy, happy children. And dammit, most of the time, most father’s do a pretty good job.

Just because we were not physically attached to our children for nine months does not mean we feel any less attached to them emotionally than mothers do.

To suggest otherwise devalues what it means to be a parent. Being a father, like being a mother, is a 24/7 vocation.

The AMP ad is only partly correct. Sometimes it is hard being a mother. Sometimes, too, it’s hard being a father.”

(From “Multitasking?” in “Father & Child magazine” published by the Father & Child Trust)