Father's Day - Time for Reflection (as well as gifts)

An individual without information can’t take responsibility. An individual with information can’t help but take responsibility.
— Jan Carlzon
 

For those who like a more visual approach, try this vlog . . .

 

I was surprised to learn that Father’s Day has quite a history and, according to Wiki, dates back to at least the Middle Ages. As with most of these traditions it can trace its inception via religion and was historically observed on 19 March, as the feast day of Saint Joseph, who is referred to as the fatherly Nutritor Domini ("Nourisher of the Lord") in Catholicism.

Fathers' Day seems to have been first observed in New Zealand at St Matthew's Church, Auckland on 14 July 1929. It is now celebrated on the first Sunday of September and, again like most of the religious traditions, has become more focused on commerce than one that has real significance.

I thought though, what better day for all the Single, Solo and Separated dads to have a think about how things are going and I put together a short list eight point list that can be answered simply yes or no.

  1. I don’t fight with my Ex in front of the children.
    Yes! Well 99% of the time, we are human!
  2. I am the positive male role model for my children I should be.
    Yes! Calm, rational, fair, wise, self-sacrificing, patient, reliable, trustworthy and honest.
  3. My house is a haven for my children.
    Yes. I should make them do more around the house but, as teenagers, they have plenty on!
  4. I put my children’s needs ahead of my own.
    Always – Work and career wise I’d be better off somewhere else but I can wait.
  5. I know what’s currently important in my children’s world.
    Most of the time but I need to make sure I spend time with them as teenagers can be quiet.
  6. I have a work/family balance that lets me see my children as much as I want.
    Yes but this is a hard one. Work likes to talk family friendly but they often don’t mean it!
  7. I do not spend time stalking my Ex, physically or on-line, and I do not try and control her life.
    Yes – any other HONEST answer should set off alarm bells.
  8. I’m okay!
    Mostly I’m okay. There are things to work on. There are always things to work on!

If you can honestly answer “yes” to all those statements then you’re heading in the right direction. Some cover quite large areas, such as “I’m okay”, and so it’s likely that you may have the odd “no”. If you do, then you have taken the first step towards change - acknowledgement. As the quote from Jan Carlzon at the start indicates – once you know something it is almost impossible to "unknow" it and it’s time to take responsibility and do something about it.

After reviewing the list I wondered what a list for other dad’s (that’s those in nuclear and blended families) would look like. I wasn’t that surprised that, with a couple of minor changes, the list is exactly the same. The danger for these dad’s is to think that they don’t need to do anything as we're a family so we must be okay. You maybe okay but you still need to be able to answer yes to the statements!

  1. I don’t fight with my Partner in front of the children.
  2. I am the positive male role model for my children I should be.
  3. Our house is a haven for my children.
  4. I put my children’s needs ahead of my own.
  5. I know what’s currently important in my children’s world.
  6. I have a work/family balance that lets me see my children as much as I want.
  7. I do not spend time stalking my Partner, physically or on-line, and I do not try and control her life.
  8. I’m okay!

Oh, by the way, The Single Dad’s guide to the Galaxy is a great Father’s Day gift. Just saying!