Great news! The Fatherhood Revolution continues, and it's going National.
Award-winning fim-maker, Justin Hunt, has finally arrived in Australia. Tomorrow (Thursday June 13) signals the commencement of the June 13-29 Australia-wide ‘Bring Back Fatherhood’ ABSENT Premiere Screening Tour. The demand for screenings around the Nation, has exploded. Official Tour Premiere Screenings, where Justin Hunt will be in attendance... include Sydney (multiple screenings), Gosford, Nowra, Brisbane (a couple of screenings), Toowoomba, Townsville, Cairns, Wollongong, Melbourne (a couple of screenings), Canberra, Hobart, Adelaide, & Perth (a couple of screenings).
The multi-award-winning documentary ABSENT, includes powerful interviews with John Eldredge (Author), Richard Rohr (Author), James Hetfield (Metallica), Johnny Tapia (former World Champion boxer), Robyn Decker (Model), and many others.
The 60 second teaser video for the 'Bring Back Fatherhood' tour, can be seen here…
And Fathering Adventures NEW 90 second promo video will be shown as a trailer, prior to each screening of ABSENT, during the tour. You can see that here right now...
Screening details can be found at the new ABSENT Australia website, here… http://www.absentmovie.com.au/#!screen-times/cbeg . Please forward on a link to this Blog article to all of the Fathers and Mothers you know. And if you’re a facebook user… please “Like” the ABSENT Australia facebook page, here… https://www.facebook.com/AbsentTourOfAustralia?fref=ts , and "Share" details with your friends on your wall.
Thank you for playing your essential part, in this ever-increasingly significant movement. By raising awareness of the importance of a father's presence, involvement, engagement, & intentionality... we will strengthen families, and strengthen our society.
Welcome to the Blog of Fathering Adventures
G’day, my name is Darren Lewis, I am the founder, facilitator, and fatherhood coach at ‘Fathering Adventures’.
What would you have loved to experience with your Dad? What would you have wanted to receive from, or hear from him? Offer those things to your son now.
Great news! The Fatherhood Revolution continues, and it's going National.
Protection and safety are both good & noble words, and good & noble pursuits. But we live in a society that has a tendency for the pendulum to swing too far in one direction most of the time… and it is my belief that we as a society have unconsciously allowed that to happen in this matter as well. As a society, we have typically attempted to eliminate all risk, danger, and adventure, from the lives of our children e.g. our schools… and many parents too… no longer permit our boys to climb trees. We must remember that where any imbalance exists… unhealthy symptoms are always quick to follow.
I subscribe to a weekly newsletter from Tim Elmore of ‘Growing Leaders’… http://growingleaders.com/blog . Tim recently wrote an article directed towards parents, entitled “We Risk Too Little”… which I felt was worthy of sharing here…
“Children of risk-averse parents have lower test scores and are slightly less likely to attend college than offspring of parents with more tolerant attitudes toward risk,” says a team led by Sarah Brown of the University of Sheffield in the UK. Aversion to risk may prevent parents from making inherently uncertain investments in their children’s human capital; it’s also possible that risk attitudes reflect cognitive ability, researchers say.” Sadly, this Scottish Journal of Political Economy report won’t help us unless we do something about it. Adults continue to vote to remove playground equipment from parks so kids won’t have accidents; to request teachers stop using red ink as they grade papers and even cease from using the word “no” in class. It’s all too negative. I’m sorry—but while I understand the intent to protect students, we are failing miserably at preparing them for a world that will not be risk-free.
Psychologists in Europe have discovered that if a child doesn’t play outside and is never allowed to experience a skinned knee or a broken bone, they frequently have phobias as adults. Interviews with young adults who never played on jungle gyms reveal they’re fearful of normal risks and commitment. The truth is, kids need to fall a few times to learn it is normal; teens likely need to break up with a boyfriend or girlfriend to appreciate the emotional maturity that lasting relationships require. Pain is actually a necessary teacher. Consider your body for a moment. If you didn’t feel pain, you could burn yourself or step on a nail and never do something about the damage and infection until it was too late. Pain is a part of health and maturity.
Similarly, taking calculated risks is all a part of growing up. In fact, it plays a huge role. Childhood may be about safety and self-esteem, but as a student matures, risk and achievement are necessities in forming their identity and confidence. Because parents have removed “risk” from children’s lives, psychologists are discovering a syndrome as they counsel teens: High Arrogance, Low Self-Esteem. They’re cocky, but deep down their confidence is hollow, because it’s built off of watching YouTube videos, and perhaps not achieving something meaningful.
According to a study by University College London, risk-taking behavior peeks during adolescence. Teens are apt to take more risks than any other age group. Their brain programs them to do so. It’s part of growing up. They must test boundaries, values and find their identity during these years. This is when they must learn, via experience, the consequences of certain behaviors. Our failure to let them risk may explain why so many young adults, between the ages of 22 and 35 still live at home or haven’t started their careers, or had a serious relationship. Normal risk taking at fourteen or fifteen would have prepared them for such decisions and the risks of moving away from home, launching a career or getting married.
So I encourage you Dads & Mums… allow and actively encourage your children to experience some calculated risk, in your presence, and under your watchful tutelage of course. As Helen Keller said… “Life is either a great adventure or nothing.“. None of us want our children’s lives to amount to nothing. Let’s together take the pledge to lead and guide our children toward living a life of great adventure.
Why not start by registering for one of our upcoming Father-Son or Dad & Daughter Adventures, now, here… http://fatheringadventures.squarespace.com/upcoming-adventures/ .
Please take the time to share your thoughts on risk and adventure here…
To my great shame... it took nearly 4 1/2 years to partner with a school, and facilitate a Parent Night. Last November 15, I facilitated our very first Parent Night at a school in Sydney. We had over 70 people come... including just a handful of Mothers. I was thrilled... nearly 70 men came to hear me present on the impact of a father's presence. The feedback on the night, and the subsequent weeks that followed... to this very day in fact... was so incredibly encouraging. I had men phoning me the next morning to know if I was going to be presenting something similar anywhere else in Sydney in the evenings that followed... because they had wished their wives could have been there with them the night before.
Now it's Melbourne's turn! This time we are partnering with Waverley Christian College, and this time, I have ensured that all Mums are also very welcome to attend... in fact encouraged to attend. So if you live in Melbourne, then we'd love to see you there... and if you don't, but know someone who does... then please be sure to help us get the word out about this. A summary of the details follow... along with some graphics of the flyer.
WHAT?: Parent Night - The IMPACT of a FATHER’S PRESENCE… What Every Parent Needs to Know.
Register now to join Darren Lewis (2011 Queensland Father of the Year, and founder of ‘Fathering Adventures’… www.fatheringadventures.com.au )… as he shares how to best ensure your child achieves well at school, has a healthy self-esteem, and avoids high risk behaviours.
WHEN?: Thursday Evening March 21 (7:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Main Presentation ; 8:00 pm – 8:20 pm – A short Question & Answer session ; 8:20 pm – 9:00 pm – Supper)
WHERE?: Performing Arts Centre, Waverley Christian College, 1248 High Street Rd, Wantirna South, Melbourne, VIC, 3152. Please enter through gate 3
HOW MUCH?: $5 per person (Early Bird Online Rate), or $7 per person (at the door on the night).
Please note that every registration allows for admission of spouses free of charge, and Supper is included in the cost of registration.
REGISTER HERE: www.trybooking.com/43168
And of course... If you would consider hosting / partnering with us in facilitating a Parent Night in your city... then we'd love to hear from you!
I don’t think I’ve ever made a New Year’s Resolution in my life… not that there’s anything wrong with doing so of course. But a practice I have applied for many years now, on New Year’s Eve, is to look back over the previous year… reflect upon all that’s taken place, and make any adjustments that need to be made for the New Year ahead. That practice has served me well.
On the morning of this New Year’s Eve, I received a wonderful email from a Dad who first joined us for a 5 Night Father-Son Adventure with his eldest son, in Tropical North Queensland back in June / July 2010. He had heard about us in a free mention in a “Holidays with Kids” newsletter. Almost 18 months later (more than 12 months ago now), he brought his youngest son along to a Father-Son Adventure Weekend at Mapleton, in the Sunshine Coast hinterland of South-East Queensland. I hadn’t heard from him since… until that very moment. Clearly this Dad has also adopted a similar approach to embarking upon his New Year.
I was so thrilled to hear from him again… to read about his life, his relationships, his family, and the role ‘Fathering Adventures’ played in all of that… that I just had to share his email with you here…
I have been meaning to write to you for a long time now.
I just wanted to tell you how grateful I am to have met you. How grateful I am to have listened to you talk about your values and beliefs. And focusing on what is important. Life, Your children, Your family your wife, your friends, Humanity, the good and the bad who may have lost their way.
I went along to Fathering Adventures because of my eldest son. He was 17. He was a “typical” teenager who was a bit rebellious in his own way, when it came to family. But he was a good lad to say the least. He was disconnected from the family unit. At the time I was wondering if I had given him enough when he finally decides to leave the family nest. To be able to go into life independently with confidence and passion. I started exploring rites of passage …and what that meant I thought about him leaving the family home. Have I personally equipped him with all he needs when he steps out there in that to quote a song title “wild world”? I am sure what I thought was, Fathering Adventures would fix him…
That FA experience…was not what I expected. It was much much more. Did it help my son? The greatest impact was to Me. It was like I was hit by a lightning bolt . It was the spark that started a small fire. One that has been growing ever since that enlightening week. It changed my perception of humanity. I ended up realizing that I was just going through life without any intention or purpose. Going through life without a rudder. Taking life and people for granted…Life is much much more than that. How I interact with my wife. How not to take her for granted. I am sooo grateful for her to be in my life…Not just for her love but for her acceptance and understanding. I am so grateful for my children for who they are right now and am very excited for them and the journey through life that they are on. I am very grateful for the family I have and for the friends I have. I am very grateful for All of the people I have met along the way The good and even the not so good.
FA started me on a journey of self discovery. It gave me confidence. It gave me confidence because it gave me Clarity. Integrity, Noble Awareness Compassion Love Sharing Giving, Giving to others GRATEFULNESS Gratefulness for everything that life has to offer. FA started me on a journey of self discovery. And I have been growing immensely ever since.
Every moment you spend with your sons and daughters and grandchildren is extremely important . I have learnt that those personal moments you share with each person should always demand 100% percent of your undivided attention . Not conversations “in Passing’ like “saying hi as you pass each other through the corridor of life…as though you are casual acquaintances. These moments should be MAGICAL moments. Create INTENTIONAL MAGICAL moments with your children and family. Sometimes all it can take is just one minute…those few words that you whisper…or the gesture…that will be everlasting….that will be remembered with fond memories for a lifetime.
Thank You Darren. Thanks FA
That email, and a number of other extremely fruitful moments shared spread throughout 2012, helped me greatly in providing great clarity in regards to the direction of ‘Fathering Adventures’ in 2013. The trajectory of our mission in 2013, is as it should be.
How about you? What have you planned to do differently… especially in regards to parenting… in 2013? We’d love to hear from you here!
When I first founded 'Fathering Adventures'... nearly 5 years ago now... my heart was to reach as many fathers as possible... because I knew full well the weightiness & significance of a father's role in the lives of his children... for good, or for bad. What I wasn't sure of at the the time... was how to go about appealing to the majority of fathers. And so, I chose to appeal to the adventurous heart that I believe lays in the innermost parts of every man... by providing a powerful experience that incorporated outdoor adventure.
Whilst we're still finding that our outdoor adventures are appealing to many Dads... what we're discovering more & more these days, is that Dads across the Nation, are looking for something more than simply engaging in the outdoors with their kids. They're wanting to experience something of substance. They're wanting to receive teaching, coaching, mentoring, and they're wanting a place and a process to incorporate all that they've learnt. In other words... what we're coming across more and more of... are men who recognize that the real fathering adventure, is to actively pursue an authentic relationship with their son or daughter... and that pleases me greatly.
2012 has been another BIG year for my family, and for ‘Fathering Adventures’. Early 2012 saw my small design drafting business (my paid work) finally draw to a close, which meant that I was able to focus all of my “work” energies & efforts directly into ‘Fathering Adventures’, in a full-time capacity. This year saw us finally reach into New South Wales in a very intentional way… both through our adventures, and through speaking publically at a successful open-forum Parents’ Night at a school in the Southern suburbs of Sydney. Approximately 66 people turned up, and approximately 60 of them were men… so it was an excellent way of raising awareness of the significance of a father’s role, and the need of fathers being present & engaged in their sons’ journeys & initiation into manhood.
In 2013, I hope to establish many more speaking engagements... in schools, churches, & community groups… throughout the Country. 2013 will also see us facilitate our first 5 Night Father-Son Adventure outside of Tropical North Queensland… at ‘Mountain Trails’, in the Brindabella Ranges of NSW, North of Canberra. And in March 2013, we return to Melbourne, to facilitate a Father-Son Adventure Weekend, and a Dad & Daughter Adventure Weekend, on consecutive weekends.
I thought I'd post our Christmas 2012 family photograph here. And yes, it's official… I’m now the 3rd tallest person in our family of 6. How did that happen? And I wonder how much longer I'll hold that position for.
May you & your family have a very Merry Christmas, and an abundantly blessed New Year,
Darren, Melissa, Brandon, Isaac, Joseph, & Theo