Here’s to Su­per­dad

...and the con­sol­ing thought that no one gets it right all the time

Central and North Burnett Times - - MIND - with Rowena Hardy Rowena Hardy is a fa­cil­i­ta­tor, per­for­mance coach and part­ner of Minds Aligned: www.mind­saligned.com.au

WITH Fa­ther’s Day to­mor­row let’s take a mo­ment to cel­e­brate the won­der­ful fa­thers in our com­mu­ni­ties and recog­nise them for all that they con­trib­ute to the fam­ily in so many ways.

From res­i­dent handy­man and gar­dener to in­come provider, ad­vice giver and so­lu­tion provider (even when not requested at times), to driver, role model, con­stant sup­porter, lifter of heavy things, opener of tight-lid­ded jars and all of the other things that of­ten go un­ac­knowl­edged.

The many chal­lenges of mod­ern par­ent­ing, plus the de­sire to get it right, can be dif­fi­cult for many fa­thers when seek­ing the right bal­ance and ap­proach that suits them and their style, while re­main­ing con­sis­tent in their be­hav­iour.

In re­al­ity, each in­di­vid­ual’s fa­ther­ing skills are sub­ject to a num­ber of in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal stim­uli in­clud­ing how their own fa­ther treated them, their be­liefs about par­ent­ing, their val­ues, how they see other dads be­hav­ing, what their part­ner may ex­pect, what they read, how they cope with life, work and re­la­tion­ships, and their over­all well­be­ing.

I feel for­tu­nate that my own fa­ther was in my life un­til his death in 2005.

He was a kind, witty, funny, in­tel­li­gent and car­ing man, far from per­fect and with many chal­lenges of his own (in­clud­ing three very dif­fer­ent daugh­ters).

He taught me a lot and, be­ing hu­man, was do­ing the best he could with what he knew in the cir­cum­stances.

There may be some com­fort in the knowl­edge that no one gets it right 100% of the time.

We know that life can be tough. Fa­thers are of­ten the ones who earn the greater in­come and some­times need to travel away to do that but what­ever the cir­cum­stances they still have the op­por­tu­nity to in­flu­ence and sup­port their chil­dren in a way that is dif­fer­ent and yet com­ple­men­tary to that of a mother.

So with po­ten­tially less con­tact time the im­por­tant thing is the qual­ity of that in­flu­ence.

To me it seems vi­tal that this in­flu­ence is con­sis­tent,

‘‘ The many chal­lenges of mod­ern par­ent­ing, plus the de­sire to get it right, can be dif­fi­cult for many fa­thers...

un­wa­ver­ingly sup­port­ive and un­con­di­tional even through the in­evitable tough times.

Ev­ery child ben­e­fits from hav­ing an in­ter­ac­tive re­la­tion­ship with a pos­i­tive and con­fi­dent male role model (not nec­es­sar­ily the fa­ther) who can demon­strate that it’s okay to be male and be gen­tle, car­ing and lov­ing as well as strong, ca­pa­ble and re­silient.

Happy Fa­ther’s Day.

PHOTO: THINKSTOCK

◗ Fa­thers are in­flu­enced by many ex­ter­nal fac­tors in­clud­ing other dads’ be­hav­iour, what they read and their re­la­tion­ship with their own fa­thers.

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