Thursday, March 10, 2011
Fatherhood in Balance
We recently celebrated our annual Dads Day at Wilmington Montessori School. This special day began with the dads sharing in a classroom learning experience hosted by their own children. Following was an opportunity for refreshment and to hear more details about our 9-12 Program fundraiser Save the Rain.
To conclude the highly-attended event was a special presentation on balancing work, life and family. Previously a guest speaker at WMS, Dr. Lani Nelson-Zlupko returned to share her thoughts and engage WMS fathers in conversation concerning the topic of “Fatherhood in Balance: Raising Kids without Losing Yourself.”
With respect to the topic of fatherhood and balance, the work of Dr. Ken Canfield also comes to mind. This award-winning author of Seven Secrets of Effective Fathers states that like everything in life, healthy fathering involves balance. "That balance needs to happen in all four of the basic dimensions of fathering – involvement, consistency, awareness and nurturance."
To be involved, it means spending time with your children doing everyday things. Dads need to be consistent by being available and present on an ongoing basis. "We need to be there for the routine – building patterns, traditions and memories," says Canfield. "But we also need to be aware of things that are out of routine – recitals, big games, tough classes, favorite toys, romances, break-ups, fears, hopes and dreams."
"Simply said, he connects. He sets down the paper, forgets about his golf handicap for now, limits his overtime at work, and he mixes it up with his children. He remembers to ask himself annually, monthly, even weekly, 'How much time am I spending with my son or daughter?' 'Would he or she benefit from spending more time with me?'"
“The father who aspires to greatness puts his knowledge and his aspirations into action…"
Dr. Ken Canfield