After my 13A’s copped a hiding on the weekend, I sought a remedy. Something of comfort, something to take my pain away. I did not have to look too far as the smell of bacon and eggs floated surreptitiously at nose level across Old Boys oval! Yes, the parents on that BBQ have comforted me for many years, I just hope they know how much they have helped me celebrate wins and in this case, commiserate losses in my time here at Newington.
Today was slightly different and an even more rewarding experience. As I stood in the queue, pondering on what could have been, I struck up a conversation with the man behind me, whose name I later discovered was Simon. The conversation went like this:
TS: who are you supporting today?
Simon: Well I plan to watch a lot of rugby today, so I guess you could say… rugby, however I’ve just returned from watching my son play in the 14A’s for St Ignatius
After speaking a little about that game and the fact that Newington are very strong in that team, the conversation moved on:
TS: so, what’s up for the rest of the day?
Simon: I have 3 other games to get to today and another later tonight.
TS: how many sons do you have?
Simon: I have 10 sons all up…
TS: you what?…. Wow!!… any daughters.
Simon: I have one daughter and she came first and ever since I have been promising her a sister.
TS: you should write a book.
Simon: Do you have a son?
TS: I have a 3 year old boy and 1 year old girl
Simon: well there are a few good books out there on how to be a good father, however I think it is simple, I’ll give you two points:
- You are the best dad your son will ever have. What ever decisions you make are the best for your son at that time.
- As long as he knows that you love him, you can’t go too far wrong.
And that was it we shook hands and I walked away with a wonderful sense of enlightenment. Feeling very lucky to have had that conversation with a man who has a great deal of experience in what it takes to be a father.
I have read a couple of books by Steve Biddulph on ‘Raising Boys’ and ‘Manhood’. I have also spoken to Stan Comino (Newington’s Counsellor for over 39 years) and the underlying theme in relation to being a good father is just that….
- Do what you need to do to be a dad, but after is well and done,
- let him know that you love him.
In summary, Stan Comino highlights the following points of importance in the father/ son relationship:
The father/ son relationship is crucial in the development of sons due to:
- the well being of the son
- positive psychological development
- developing the son’s ability to develop and maintain relationships
- gender identification
- ego strength
- self esteem
- relationships with the girls
The father/ son relationship is most important in the first 13 years of a boys life
Tips for Dads:
- Listen to your son
- Share activities that you both enjoy. That way you are more likely to show a genuine interest.
- Unsuccessful bonding is linked with a lack of development in the points mentioned above.
I hope that the City2Surf experience has been one that has enabled you to develop an even stronger father/ son bond.