Last Friday at our regular monthly meeting I had a chance to meet with other Dads Workers working in Edinburgh. Different organizations and one common goal: improving quality of children life and parenting skills of their fathers. The main reason for our meeting was to have a good discussion about ways of reaching out to a bigger amount of fathers and keeping them with us so they can maintain a good relationship with organizations like ours.
I need to admit that our cooperation is self-imposed. It’s not depending on social care departments, decisions of courts, neither resocialization programs nor adjurations from above. It’s basically the fathers’ will to work on their skills. They must be willing to change and see possibilities coming out of cooperation with institutions like ours. The stumbling block which is most often found in between fathers is a stereotype about dads not needing any help. Apparently in the eyes of society father asking for help is weak, and cannot handle the role of a parent.
Fear makes things looks twice as bad as they are – fathers are asking us if there is anything wrong about them if we are not sent by social care and most of all if our presence doesn’t mean that they’re lacking parenthood skills or they are ignorant.
We came to a conclusion that the fear of the unknown is obviously a big issue but the absence of role models in our times is becoming another major problem. This, in turn, is causing lack of internal identification with fatherhood role.
I will quickly explain what I mean by that: if a father wants to become a responsible and mindful example for his child he needs to first find and identify inside of himself a fatherhood. Same as it was done by many other men before he needs to look in the mirror and say: “You will be a father! Pull yourself together. It’s time to act like a dad!” Identification of ourselves as parents is a key move to changes, conscious and mindful work towards the improvement of our skills but most of all becoming responsible for our own actions.
Not once young parent became a one by an “accident”. One choice is changing the previous version of the world we knew. Fear, mental unreadiness and high expectation from future mum and dad. A young man would still like to play on Xbox, bar crawl with friends from the neighborhood. Thinking about myself, I think I had a pretty strong vision of fatherhood and rules which I had to follow. Looking at the way my own father was identifying himself with a role of a dad I know for sure that having a child is a big responsibility. Without examples like this one, it’s very hard to find an “inner dad” and accept a feeling of being a father. I know for a fact that education should be based on dynamic conditions of our world and our lives.
There are no chances to be a good father if you cannot understand the consequences of conceiving a child. Divorce today is no longer a big deal, it is possible to go through this without bigger issues.
I don’t think we should stigmatize couples choosing divorce, sometimes it is a better for a child than staying together in a relationship. However, school education should take into consideration changes happening in society, changes in family life education and the dynamic of it. As I mentioned in one of my previous posts – the image of a family is constantly changing. Single mothers, single fathers, co-parenting, weekend visits and sometimes complete lack of involvement in child development.
Why in Scotland every year, pre-school education is implementing changes? It’s because of constant research about the impact of the world on children development. Literally, every year newest studies reveal something that can be introduced in education. Books which I was using two years ago in college today can be used as a recycling. Some time ago it was Froud and Skinner today Froebel and tomorrow we can expect new people running researches in pre-school education. The idea of dynamic, changing world is resonating with a concept of non-stopping searching for better understating of children and their development.
That’s the reason why we emphasize activation of fathers, reaching out to them, trying to convince them to tell us what they need and how do they see childbirth. It’s extremely pleasing to see education moving forward with the spirit of the time. Scientific research and social experiments are leading source of changes in the system. I am glad that we take care of each party, we are running dialogue and offering help. It doesn’t mean that fathers are less “macho”. It’s a proof that changes happening in our system are good and are including them. That’s the way it should always look like.
Going back to the process of finding the base of fatherhood inside of ourselves, I would like to ask you, dear father, reading my blog: would you accept an offer to become a better parent or would you consider it as a personal failure? Think about it. Look at it as an option to become a better dad, possibility to be a better example and chance to raise your child properly. At the end of the day it’s all about your kids, isn’t it? By mastering your skills, you’re improving quality of your child life. It’s the child who is becoming a beneficiary of your improvement process.
What is your opinion, my dear female readers? Mothers, sisters, partners and all other types of women figures.
What do you think about that DAD?