WHAT I KNOW ABOUT FA­THER­HOOD

To CEL­E­BRATE Fa­ther’s Day, six dads RE­FLECT on this mo­men­tous ROLE; what they know, what they’re still LEARN­ING – and how kids can Stretch you fur­ther than any job.

Collective Hub - - CONTENTS - WORDS MIRIAM RAPHAEL

dads in tech, fash­ion, sport and so­cial change share their par­ent­ing in­sights

BLAKE MYCOSKIE FOUNDER OF TOMS + DAD TO SUM­MIT

I think the best thing I’ve done is just give [my son] un­di­vided at­ten­tion. We have a pol­icy where we have no phones, no com­put­ers in the same room that he’s in so we don’t find our­selves dis­tracted when we’re spend­ing time with him. In the house, if I need to go do some emails or make a phone call, [my wife] Heather will go watch him and I’ll go do that and… I’ll come back to him and give him my full at­ten­tion. I think that’s a re­ally im­por­tant prac­tice to get in­volved in be­cause he might not to­tally un­der­stand it now, but def­i­nitely in another year it will have an im­pact. So I try to make the time I am with him very, very high qual­ity, and very, very in­ten­tional.

CHAR­LIE WOOD MAN­AG­ING DI­REC­TOR OF DROP­BOX ANZ + DAD TO THREE

I’m now a lot more con­scious of my own ac­tions and ac­tiv­i­ties. I’m very con­scious of time. Now that my kids are out of the tod­dler phase, I re­ally try to min­imise my busi­ness travel and avoid late nights at the of­fice. It’s an in­cred­i­ble time to be to­gether as a fam­ily and be­ing present is very im­por­tant to us all. One thing I’ve no­ticed re­cently is the change in the change. As the kids move through their stages of life I have to change my po­si­tion as a fa­ther. We’re not just kinder­garten-car­ers now – we’re re­spon­si­ble for help­ing form their world views, their val­ues as well as their sense of hu­mour and taste in mu­sic.

TIM CAHILL FASH­ION DE­SIGNER AT CAHILL+, SOC­CER PLAYER + DAD TO KYAH, SHAE, SI­ENNA AND CRUZ

I think the main thing for me is just to have fun. I sup­pose it’s hard be­cause I want to be the ‘fun dad’ but at the same time I like them to be dis­ci­plined. I hate it when I miss their soc­cer games and I hate it when I miss stuff. But I think if you can cap­ture the mo­ments and give them your at­ten­tion, which they need, I think that’s most im­por­tant. I’ve got four kids so I un­der­stand that time with them is im­por­tant… I tell them I love them and hug them, even if they’re naughty. I think that’s what’s most im­por­tant for any dad, is to give your kids love and af­fec­tion. Just sup­port. Sup­port them in what they do. You can’t be too hard on them, es­pe­cially when it’s [about] foot­ball or stuff like that; the main thing is just be­ing there for them.

I think the BEST THING I’ve done is just give UN­DI­VIDED at­ten­tion. I want to be the ‘FUN DAD’ but at the SAME TIME I like them to be DIS­CI­PLINED.

ALAIN DE BOTTON FOUNDER OF THE SCHOOL OF LIFE, PHILOSO­PHER + DAD TO SOLOMON AND SAUL

It’s a fic­tional cre­ation called ‘be­ing a fa­ther’ and I don’t think that’s a prob­lem… but it’s a heav­ily edited ver­sion of me and it means, in a way, me putting aside a lot of my own needs and de­sires, re­ally to be fo­cused on some­body else. Which is kind of an odd role to play: I’m at the ser­vice of my chil­dren in many ways as a fa­ther.

They love to tell me how stupid I am and that I don’t un­der­stand any­thing at all about any­thing – it’s very im­por­tant to them con­stantly to tell me this and it cer­tainly brings you down to earth. But it also ex­pands you; I hated sport all my life and I have a younger son who’s a sports fa­natic and it’s through him I’ve dis­cov­ered that ac­tu­ally, watch­ing a game of foot­ball is some­thing that could be pos­si­ble for me and I’d never ever had imag­ined that I would do that, but I do that. So they stretch you, in un­usual and in­ter­est­ing ways.

They LOVE to tell me how STUPID I am… it’s very IM­POR­TANT to them con­stantly to tell me this and it cer­tainly brings you DOWN TO EARTH.

I get GREAT JOY watch­ing my eightyear-old fig­ure things out and GROW­ING UP to be a strong, con­fi­dent woman. The ob­vi­ous sense of RE­SPON­SI­BIL­ITY is more than COM­PEN­SATED for by the enor­mous sense of joy and HAP­PI­NESS the girls have given me.

TONY WARD MAN­AG­ING DI­REC­TOR OF SUR­VEYMON­KEY APAC + DAD TO BELLA

I know it may sound like a cliché, but fa­ther­hood has made me stop and ap­pre­ci­ate the small things. I get great joy watch­ing my eight-year-old fig­ure things out and grow­ing up to be a strong, con­fi­dent woman. [There’s] so much joy and pride in her­self when she does new things. The most sur­pris­ing thing about be­ing a dad is how hard it is to be a good par­ent! To be present and at­ten­tive with all the noise that is in our daily lives and to fo­cus on what is truly im­por­tant.

MARK NEW­MAN CEO AND MD AT OROTON + DAD TO EMILY, ANNABEL & JU­LIA

Fa­ther­hood is the sin­gle most im­por­tant thing I have done in my life. [It has] fun­da­men­tally changed many things about me from that day for­ward. The ob­vi­ous sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity is more than com­pen­sated for by the enor­mous sense of joy and hap­pi­ness the girls have given me, and I have learnt to be a more pa­tient and un­der­stand­ing per­son. [I was sur­prised to learn] that no mat­ter how much you tell your­self you will not do to your chil­dren what your par­ents did to you, you end up do­ing ex­actly that. And how much money it costs – al­though they are worth ev­ery penny!

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