Friday, 7 June 2013

Dadism: Being A Dad

I had a job interview a few months ago and one of the last questions they asked me was, "What are you most proud of?". My brain didn't even think and I said, "Being a Dad". I took myself by surprise and expanded on the answer.

Being a Dad is a hard thing to do. I've only been doing it for eight years but for the last thirty-odd years I've had a pretty strong idea of how I was going to approach it. What I would do, what I wouldn't do. Cues from my own Dad and father figures in my life. What did they do that I enjoyed? What did they teach me? But most importantly: What did I learn from them?


I grew up without a Dad in the house. I was five when my parents divorced and although I got to see him every second school holiday, my Dad wasn't there for the day to day things. My Mother was and she did the best she could raising me.

The way I look at it is this: Any man can be a Father; any man can have a child. Not every man can be a Dad. Being a great Dad is a never-ending journey. Being a Dad means doing a lot of things. It varies from house to house. It might mean taking out the rubbish, teaching your kids to ride their bikes, washing the car. It might not.

On those school holidays with my own Dad, being a Dad meant catching fish. It meant walking through 11 acres of bush looking for the night's bonfire wood. It meant drawing pictures and making up songs about our day. My Dad could build houses, fix cars and chop down trees - but he never showed me how. Instead he showed me how to be creative, what to listen for in music, how to be a gentle man. I used to come home to my every day life and wonder why my Dad didn't show me how to hammer a nail or fix a bike puncture. Now that I look back on it, I realise it's because there are more important things a Dad does: He was showing me how to be.

To be a Dad is to be present. To have the role and own it. To not shy away from that responsibility and to take on the challenge of parenthood. It means getting down on the floor and engaging with your children. It means to just... be.


This blog shares a lot of ideas for things to do with your children. Mothers, grandparents, aunties, uncles, teachers and other caregivers are welcome to use the ideas. It's not the ideas that are important. Investing time and energy into our tamariki, our children is the big lesson here. Yes, you will find out how to make a marble run with your kids, but that's not the point. The point is doing things with your children.

Ultimately, being a Dad is something to be proud of. Sometimes it's hard; you're at your wits end. Other times it's so easy you feel like a natural. Either way, the more you put in the more you will get out of it. Cliches are cliches for a reason: because most often they are true. If you make your children your world, they will go out and conquer the world.

So please join me as I try out ideas with my children all while trying my hardest to be a Dad.

Have fun!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Abraham...Jeremy here via my wife's blog. Love your thoughts, your writing of them and most of all the heart expressed which is after my own heart of the greatest blessing in this world to be a dad. Just told a workmate today the greatest moment of every day is pulling in to the driveway and seeing precious children come tumbling out of the door, down the path, opening the car door while it's still running, and crying out..."DADDY!!!" Bless you bro. You're a good man. Will follow your posts. JR