Monthly Archives: September 2014

100 percent the Daddy

Which Do You Choose, Run A 2 Trillion Company? Or Spend More Time With Your Daughter

I came across a news article this morning about Mohamed El-Erian.

Who is this person you say? Also, why is he a big deal?

56 year old, Egyptian born, El-Erian runs a 2 Trillian dollar investment fund PIMCO with assets exceeding 2 Trillion dollars. After asking his daughter to brush her teeth one evening, she failed to do said0, but then proceeded to her room and returned with a sheet of paper and gave this to her father.  On this slip of paper she has listed 22 life events that due to the hours that Mohamed had been working, he had missed all of these events from her life.

These events included, Halloween parades, her first soccer game, a parent- teacher meeting and many school recitals.

El-Erian kept unbelievable hours for his work, often sleeping between 9pm to 1am, writing until 4.30 am and then hitting the trading floor at 9am. Now I have almost finished reading the 4 hour Work Week, by Tim Ferriss (affiliate link).  The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated: Expanded and Updated, With Over 100 New Pages of Cutting-Edge Content. Explains plenty about, thinking big, doing things that you fear and working smarter with much shorter hours so your much more productive in your day than you are now. Certainly something Mohamed should be doing!

So he made the decision to quit working at PIMCO and decrease his hours dramatically to spend much more time with his wife, Jamie, and his daughter. He is working part time at Allianz. Now you may think what a gem of a bloke and congratulations on his choice. But I feel that there are many who would be saying, he was fine doing already what he was doing and don’t see what the issue is.

So he made the decision to quit working at PIMCO and decrease his hours dramatically to spend much more time with his wife, Jamie, and his daughter. He is working part time at Allianz. Now you may think what a gem of a bloke and congratulations on his choice. But I feel that there are many who would be saying, he was fine doing already what he was doing and don’t see what the issue is.

100 percent the Daddy

So, a guy works incredibly long hours, quits his post to spend more time with his family and it becomes a newsworthy item. The point I am making here, is because Mohamed used to run a large (in terms of dollar turn over) company, quit his post to spend quality family time and no longer misses out on seeing his daughter. Dads spending time with family, and choosing to be stay at home Dads, or Dads who work less hours or run their own business, are still unlikely to be seen as a standard in with today’s modern Dads.

This particular story has become an item of the news, so, to me, it means there still is a stigma with Fathers choosing family as the priority, rather than working in a position as the family’s main bread winner. It’s a growing trend, and one that many men are choosing to do for various reasons. Many of those reasons are the wife is earning much more than the man, so plain economics can also make a sensible option. Other reasons include running a business from home, working remotely from the office with fewer hours and or days. Or simply, choosing to spend time with family and accepting that, you may not have the choices or decisions to make easily from a financial viewpoint.

Dads of today and our role in the modern world is changing rapidly and barriers are being crossed as well as previous status quo. Here is also another food for thought concept, men are no longer accepting that they have to stick with or accept the traditional stereotypes of being men, who are men because they are breadwinners, play sports and love spending time at the pub hanging out with their mates. Or fathers that are the only worker in the family and the wife stays at home or has a part time job during children’s school hours. No, men are becoming stay at home, or work at home dads and find ways to work around their decision to spend time with family as the priority.

Men have much broader goals, pursuits and so many other options for earning an income (as well as their respective wives and partners do as well) and many of these men are choosing a different life, a life they are finding much more fulfilling for themselves, a quality of life more meaningful than a generation ago. I am driven to combat the standard stereotype and I find with conversations with some others, they find it difficult to understand why a man would choose family, over work.

To me, it simply comes down to deeming, what is the most important time of your day that you choose to spend time with those whom are most important in your life.

This is the original www.news.com.au digital version news copy that this article is based on as well as my own opinion. I am not affiliated with, nor am I employed in any capacity with News Ltd

baby in hat and blanket

You Should Have Started Sooner

‘Why did you leave it so late?’ is an often asked question when I have a conversation about being a 42 year old first time father. My standard answer is, ‘I didn’t plan it that way’. I knew from an early age I always wanted to be a father. What I didn’t know was it would be a dream that was a LONG time coming.

My original scenario was similar to how my family, as in my cousins, who are of a similar age to me planned to have their kids. That scenario was meet someone, fall in love, get married, have kids, buy a house. I planned to do all this in my 20’s. Well life has other circumstances for you.

What did happen was I got married at 21, then I got divorced four years later. No children from that union. At 29 I met someone new and didn’t get married, but we did have one child. That resulted in a stillbirth and my (ex) partner never recovered from that event. We did not have more children, and we ended that relationship a few years later when I was 39. I received grief counselling and found it was the best approach to get on with life after the loss of my son.

I was looking at the prospect of being a single man and not becoming a father. I was approaching 40 years of age and suffering from deep despair. My dream of being a father was now far removed from my 20’s and I started to accept the fact that the one dream I once held dear, was simply not going to occur for me. That deep despair was heading towards depression, yet I didn’t know I at that time, I probably needed to at least get help and talk with someone.

Turning 40 years of age marked a changed in my life that I didn’t see coming and it was a good thing.

I met someone new. She is wonderful, kind, considerate, funny, vibrant and had all the attributes I wanted in a life partner. She also wanted children. Early in the relationship, knowing she wanted kids made me jump for joy (on the inside) and resurrected hope in having children I had not felt in years.

At the age of 41, I fulfilled another dream, having an overseas trip. I spent three weeks in Thailand with Kangaroo Mum and had a fantastic time. I enjoyed it so much, I look forward to the day I can return. I fell in love with the country and yearn to go back. The unknown benefit on our international trip was Kangaroo mum got pregnant with Lil Miss G.

I got to (finally) fulfill one of my long held dreams. A dream I felt for a long time, would never happen. Lil Miss G was born in an unplanned home birth in 2012 ago and is a happy, healthy vibrant baby girl. Dreams do come true, sometimes life throws you curve balls and sometimes you just have to wait long enough. Grief and depression are the black dogs that can affect men in life.

There is still stigma that surrounds those who suffer from it, but it is no reason to not get help.

*Authors note – If you or someone you know suffers from anxiety or depression, talk to someone who can help. Go to http://www.beyondblue.org.au or call 1300 22 4636. Please don’t get embarrassed, get help.

Good Quote On Child Discipline

Disciplining Children – My style Is Different From Yours

Reading through some Facebook updates yesterday and came across a picture shared by one of my friends on his stream.

 

Bad Quote On Child Discipline

Bad Quote On Child Discipline

 

The picture I found stopped my train of thought.

I felt I knew the answer why and was not surprised it came to me straight away.

It was not my method of parenting. Nor is the quote, a statement I agree with.

I am of the belief that using physical means to re-educate a child is not about the child at all it is about the parent attempting the discipline.

For those of you who don’t know,  I am a Crunchy Dad. This style of parenting is not easy to explain in a couple of sentences and this link to Little Crunchy Dot Com goes into more detail. Once you have read that list I respect and follow most, but not all those principles. I am a very modern Dad too, so I would find it rather difficult without having modern conveniences. In essence, my personal view is I see spanking a child for disciplinary purposes as a form of assault.

Reflecting back to being a child with having this style of discipline used on me. There were no behavioral changes I know of, nor was there any change from me after asking my Mother, Father, Aunties, Uncles & Grandparents whom all used this technique on me and my sisters and cousins. My behaviour came to fear the belt or strap, yet no change in my behaviour came from being in ‘trouble’ or committing acts that were ‘wrong’.  So the punishment was futile. If I did something wrong as deemed by my parents or guardians, sufficient enough to get the strap, I got the usual 5 or 10 lashes. Yet, through getting this discipline, I would still get in trouble and get another 5 or 10 lashes.

This was the done thing 35-40 years ago and I bear no ill will on my parents or family. They used the best skills they had for raising children and also learnt much from how they were raised by their parents. There have been many discussions between us over the years and lots of tears too, on both sides of the family. Its hard seeing that your mother and aunties are struggling to provide the best care they can give and realise that hitting you with the strap wasn’t always the best means of discipline. My Dad struggled with discussing it with me as my uncles would also use bravado to explain their measure of it or clamp down and not talk at all. Hard subject to discuss.

Feeling bad about something is REALLY hard to talk about. Even harder to know you were doing something and it didn’t feel right, but its what you knew.

Knowing there has been plenty of and serious studies done, why does this philosophy still exist? Although used way much less, if at all these days why is it still viewed by some as a means of discipline?

It is about power. They person with the strap has it, the child does not. Plain, simple. Power struggles happen all the time, parents feel they need to sometimes be in hard or instant control of their children. It is hard, wrangling children who are still finding their way in the world. Sometimes parents feel they need a child to stop and behave, right now. This thinking is due to a parent wanting to control their child. So by using physical means of measuring discipline, it is also an adult attempting to show dominance over a smaller, weaker, not so knowledgeable human being. Screaming is a lesser form of punishment being metered out. Torturing a child is unconscionable. Yet also, these diabolical events still occur.

When I discipline my daughter I use the original philosophy, which is to train and educate. I help to nurture, guide and provide training to give my daughter the knowledge, skills and understanding to know certain things and be educated in certain behaviours. I spend time helping my daughter achieve and be enriched as the adult she will become through her journey that is childhood. Almost all of her knowledge will be known internally or externally over time. By encouraging, at times rewarding and respecting her and her feelings, she will be on the right path of her journey.

If I was to use physical discipline, my daughter would not know behaviours appropriate and more than likely would not be skilled with the set of attributes to help her in life. My daughter would learn to fear me when I am angry, or when I would use some disciplinary measure, like spanking or a strap. Therefore, she would most likely be fearful of men, ergo, trouble with relationships with males.

She also would not respect right and wrong and may start to ‘run off with a bad crowd’. This would stem from her base of fear and she would not want to be around me as if she got into ‘trouble’ then it would be out with the strap. She may also copy my behaviours and see that violence, anger, fear, intimidation and yelling as a form of getting what she both, needs and wants. She would more than likely grow up being defined more by her will in life (re: being very self centred) and striving for her needs only and masking polite behaviors.

So I know what I would like my daughter to be like by nature and it is certainly not through discipline by violence.

This is not the way I would rather raise my pride and joy.

 

Good Quote On Child Discipline

Positive quote on child discipline