Fathering Goodness

Father and son having fun Since this is a parenting blog with a focus on personal development, we normally post tips and advice that parents can use to improve their own lives and the life of their children. But today’s post will be a bit different.

Today, I want to tell you about some things that happened to me with my own kids and to appeal to both mothers and fathers to do the best you can to raise your children in balance and harmony, including giving them enough time with their father.

This week, we watched the movie “Brave”. I cried at the end (I will not spoil it for you). After the movie, it occurred to me that scenes in which parents and children realize how important they are to each other (sometimes when it is too late) make me cry every time. Maybe this is part of my inspiration for today.

Our family has lived in a good number of places around the world and has visited many others. In all of them, fathers mostly go to work in the morning, leaving their children with their mothers, and come back in the evening tired, stressed, preoccupied and unaware of what their family has gone through during the day.

This used to be my life too. For 15 years, I worked for large companies, spent long hours commuting, stayed late at work “just to finish something on time” and even traveled on business. Among our friends, I actually spent the least amount of time on the road or at work and the most amount of time at home, but for the most part, I was “missing in action” as far as my family was concerned.

Read more about why kids should spend time with their dad

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Fathering Adventures

Father and 3 childrenSometimes, the Universe seems to conspire to make us do something. In this case, I think it wants me to write about how important fathers are in the life of their children. We keep focusing on parenting in this blog, but there is a difference between mothering and fathering, which we have not discussed much.

I have a friend who goes on a men’s camp every year. When his boys were young, he went by himself and felt very supported there. As soon as his boys turned 13 and were allowed to go with him, away they went together and spent a great time bonding – singing, dancing, doing physical exercise and watching performances. He has been nagging me to come with him on that camp for a few years now, saying there is something special about the freedom and “safe space” it provides.

So far, I have not gone.

In the past few months, Ronit worked with several boys whose father had died or spent a lot of time away from home. Whenever we talked about them, I kept having the feeling that although they were young (5 to 8 years old), they felt like little men. I felt they saw themselves as somewhat responsible for the wellbeing of their family and had to fill the very large shoes of their absent father.

That was not enough either.

Read more about how to be a great father