Being a present day dad


As we wake up on Father's Day hoping for another pair of cool socks and a #1Dad mug, it is probably a good time for us dads to reflect on how we have done in raising our kids.

It is worth thinking about the type of role models that we have been for our kids and how we can help them grow up healthy and contribute positively to society.

Decades of research have demonstrated that the parent child relationship and the environment of the family are critical to a child's wellbeing.

The impact of parents may never be greater than during the earliest years of life, when a child's brain is rapidly developing and when nearly all of her or his experiences are created and shaped by parents and the family environment.

Parents help children build and refine their knowledge and skills, charting a trajectory for their future health and wellbeing. With the multiple stressors that we deal with in our own lives, finding the time to be present - as opposed to giving presents - is not always easy. Having said that, we can't expect our children to do well at school, be physically active, and be kind and caring when we are spending our days in meetings and our weekends watching TV. While our phones allow us to keep in touch, it can't replace the physical contact - being a 'virtual' dad is not a reality.

Our kids grow up so quickly and the opportunities to make a positive impact fly by. When my sons were small, I loved playing soccer with them in our garden. I would proudly perform my role as a father by making amazing dives across the goal that were so well-timed to ensure that the ball would trickle over the line just as I landed on the hard ground.

Today, my boys prefer not to ask me to join them for a game of soccer - the last game ended in them picking me up off the ground and carrying me off to the orthopaedic surgeon for a procedure on my knee. But I recognise how those hours were invaluable for me and for them. There is no doubt that on a daily basis I make multiple mistakes in how I act as a father.

However, nothing can take away from the time that I have spent with my children, which will at least allow me to earn a pair of socks (I hope).

- Dr Craig Nossel, head of Vitality Wellness


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