Parenting for everyone
More and more is being written and understood about the roles that fathers play in our society and lives.
I was fortunate enough to attend the launch of a well-thought out and intelligent course last week – Building Better Dads by the Fatherhood Project.
It was interesting and gratifying to hear men speak emotionally and enthusiastically about their experiences as fathers and sons. The stereotypical Aussie bloke of past generations wasn’t supposed to have emotions about his kids and should distract himself with a footy game, should they unfortunately arise.
I’m fortunate to have in my life many strong and beautiful men: my husband, father, brother, father-in-law, friends and brothers-in-law are all wonderful fathers and great role models.
Building Better Dads is without doubt a great idea and a great program but sometimes I wonder if the language we use excludes the non-traditional family unit.
In today’s society it’s certainly common for kids to have someone who is not a birth parent in a parenting role, whether as a step parent (and I really hate that term, Cinderella has a lot to answer for in terms of princess culture and a bad wrap for non-birth parents) or a family with two parents of the same gender or foster parents, carers, grandparents and any other number of non-nuclear family structures.
I was also lucky enough to visit a young couple in Lismore Base Hospital the day after the birth of their first son, who has the best name possible (he’s called Maxwell) and the best start in life possible: a loving, committed and caring family.