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From the Principal – March 2019

One of the greatest titles a man or woman can have, is "Dad" or “Mum”. As parents, we demonstrate to our children that we care for them by making them a priority. Cultivating relationships with each child requires time, discipline and intentionality. When so much time is spent on living life, it can sometimes prove to be a challenge to spend both quality and quantity time with our children. Each one needs to know with absolute certainty that we love them. Spending time with them goes a long way toward making them feel protected and loved.

In February we hosted our inaugural Fathering Project launch at the Kalamunda Bowls Club.

Our guest speaker, Steve Rushworth, representative from The Fathering Project highlighted the role of a father in a family being critical, given that the responsibilities of a father at home extend beyond the need of provision into the duties of a father and husband. He stated that the importance of a father’s involvement, together with the mother, has been given emphasis over the years to help a child develop emotionally, psychologically and physically.

Fathers are an integral part of the parenting unit and provide so many different elements to the family.

The launch of the Fathering Project has given us an opportunity to speak into the hearts of fathers; an initiative for fathers and father-figures by fathers.

A survey was done with a cross-section of children who were asked the question, ‘What makes a good dad?’ They answered as follows:

  • focuses on me
  • shows a real interest
  • communicates and listens
  • takes me to sport and dancing
  • takes me on trips
  • plays with me
  • reads to me
  • shows me affection

The comments are varied but with a common thread running through them; children want acceptance, affection and time from their dads.

Steve suggested the importance of intentionally creating opportunities to spend time with your child(ren) individually, no other adults and no other children. These regular dates could include restaurants, local events and festivals, the zoo, walks, jogs, movies, ice cream and other fun things. This time alone gives children the chance to talk, ask questions, and sometimes just to listen to them.

An easy acronym to remember what the focus should be when spending time with your children is Dad’s B.U.S. …

  1. Be there – living in the moment and being present means not being distracted by the mobile phone or reading emails. Children know when their parents aren’t focused on them.
  2. Unconditional love – in the times when things are going well but more so when things are really tough. When things go wrong it’s generally harder to demonstrate but so vitally important that they know they are loved and accepted.
  3. Special – identify what’s special about your children. What do they excel in and what do they enjoy? Engage them on their level.

There are also a number of great role models who can step in and be father figures, such as:

  • sports coaches
  • uncles
  • teachers
  • church members

Feedback from our Dads

The Fathering Project provides a foundation for like-minded dads to get together and bond through various activities with their children and other dads. It is an amazing way for dads, who have difficulty dedicating time to their children, to focus on the most important people in their lives when often a busy lifestyle gets in the way. It is also a fantastic opportunity for dads to get together, relax and, if necessary, discuss the highs and lows of being a Dad. Mike Gilders
What a great initiative! I must admit, when I heard Steve say he was going to talk for 45 minutes, I moaned to myself. But after that time went by, I was wanting more. Lots of input from lots of dads equals a stack of info about being a better dad. So many interesting topics to discuss. Thanks also to Georgie and Luke Ballantine. Michael Warwick
I am Shivan's dad. I attended the fathering project session last Thursday. Thank you so much for organizing this session. It was a wonderful evening. The session was very informative and interesting. It really opened my eyes to look at things in a different perspective. I feel sessions like this are very important in our busy lives, on a regular basis, which help us to pause and think. It also gave me an opportunity to meet with few dads which was very helpful as I really didn't know anyone before attending the session. Sajeevkumar Ganesan

Thank you to everyone who attended and thank you especially to Georgie and Luke Ballantine for getting this initiative off the ground. We have three dads who have oversight of the project at KCS, namely Craig Clarke, Daniel Collett and Giles Creelman. They would be happy to chat to you if you have any questions.

If you’d like more information regarding the Fathering Project or upcoming events, please feel free to click here to join the KCS Dad's group.

Blessings
Michelle Cockrell
Principal