“There is nothing new under the sun." (King Solomon)
Turn on the news most days, and you will witness countless reports of increasing youth violence & crime, drug & alcohol abuse, and other forms of adolescent delinquency. We as a society have a name for such youths… we refer to them as “at-risk” or “high-risk”. Comprehensive independent research for decades, continues to reveal that it is the absence of Dad, and significant male others, that ultimately determines whether a youth member will be classified as “at-risk” or “high-risk”.
The decade between 1991 & 2001 in Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park in South Africa, saw fifty-eight White Rhinos and five Black Rhinos killed by young male elephants. So what was the successful solution to ending the Rhino deaths caused by these young male elephants? It was the introduction of older male elephants! You can watch the following short 3 minute long video containing excerpts from the 60 Minutes story here…
It is essential that our Governments at every level (Local, State, & Federal) act, and act now in regards to actually solving our most urgent social problems, by encouraging fathers… biological and otherwise… to be involved, engaged, and present, in the lives of our boys, girls, young men, & young women. And it is essential that we the people be heard in regards to this matter.
So what is it that you have done, and are you doing to help? We’d love to hear from you. Please comment here. Your ideas & actions could just help inspire others to also act, and make a real, and lasting difference.
And finally… we’ll be in South-East Queensland later this month… in August 17-19… facilitating one of our Father-Son Adventure Weekends at Mapleton, in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. We have fathers & sons coming from all over… including fathers & sons from Sydney & Wollongong in N.S.W., and even a father-son pair from Wodonga, VIC. There are still some vacancies remaining for that one, so register your interest now at http://www.fatheringadventures.com.au/father_son_adventures.php .
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.
“There is nothing new under the sun." (King Solomon)
I love receiving emails from Dads & Mums who write to share their stories, the memories they created, in photo form or otherwise, or simply to encourage us in our mission.
I received one such email from a Dad (Brian Borg) yesterday morning. He had visited our website, and watched a video there, which in turn reminded him of a poem he had penned about a fishing experience he created with his son 12 years ago, called 'The Fish Wish'. I'm posting it here (with Brian's permission of course)... for all to read the truth that Brian discovered at the end of a fishing experience he had thought had not been a good one. I shared this poem on facebook here , and received comments from parents who had been moved to tears.
'The Fish Wish'
For an ordinary man with a holiday plan,
thought he'd head to the beach for a week.
with his son by his side, the mans joy and his pride,
A fish dinner to catch they will seek.
To be a good dad, is the plan the man had,
and to teach his young son how to fish.
Rod, line and then hook, he taught by the book,
he then said, not a prayer but a wish.
I wish for the weather to hold us together,
and no waves will come crashing inside.
I wish there no snags, old boots or no rags,
be washed to our hooks by the tide.
I wish the line strong for the fish to jump on,
knots, tangles and nests there are none.
I wish for my boy, this rod be a toy,
then all day he will think this is fun.
I wish us to catch, not one but a batch,
to kiss and put back where they came.
I wish this to be, our day at the sea,
where no fish that are caught are the same.
I wish that my boy will always enjoy,
the memories that are had here today.
and I wish most of all, my son has a ball,
when the big one does not get away.
The man then stopped wishing.
"its time to start fishing" he said to his son with a grin.
"I think it is time for these fish to be mine,
and now let the fishing begin".
Time after time they'd drop in their line,
the fish didn't seem to be there.
they'd bring up the hook, just for a look,
the cooler they brought was still bare.
"I'm sorry my son, we didn't catch one,
I don't know what I must say.
maybe the bad bait, or the tide was too late,
but now we must call it a day".
The man could not hide, the joy or the pride,
or the tear that was happy not sad.
"Today it was fun", said the mans only son.
"Cause my wish was to just be with you, DAD".
(C Brian Borg 2000)
That’s what I’m talking about! Brian learnt a lesson a number of years ago now, that far too many men never realize… that Dad’s presence is what most kids want… in fact crave… from their Dads.
So give your kids the gift of your presence now Dad! Join us for one of our upcoming Father-Son or Dad & Daughter Adventures soon. Our next couple of adventures are already sold out, but we do still have a few vacancies for our June 30 – July 5 – 5 Night Father-Son Adventure, our August 17-19 Father-Son Adventure Weekend, and our September 14-16 Dad & Daughter Adventure Weekend. Register your interest for one of our upcoming adventures at www.fatheringadventures.com.au , or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org , or phone me on 0431 839 035.
And if you were wondering what video it was that stirred Brian’s heart, and moved him to email his poem to me, you can watch it here… http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=VCNydoQ97VA .
Be warned though… be sure to have tissues on hand.
“Each day of our lives, we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.” Charles Swindoll (Pastor & Author)
“Opportunities to communicate openly, and build the father-son relationship have to be created. It’s a goal that’s worth whatever it takes to achieve.” Dr James Dobson (Psychologist & Author)
What memories do you have of some great moments you shared with your Dad… just the two of you? And how many of those moments were caught on camera or video? My Dad took his role as financial provider of our family seriously… too seriously in fact… so I have very few memories of times I shared with my Dad, and even fewer photographs. To be honest… there isn’t a single photograph in existence, of just my Dad and I… together.
The good news is… it’s a completely different story when it comes to my sons and I. We have shared so many great moments, and insodoing, created so many great memories… together… meals, movies, hiking, rafting, fishing, abseiling, sea kayaking, snorkelling, canoeing, exploring, camping, jumping into waterholes from heights, important and not-so-important discussions etc… many of which have been shared, one-on-one… and we have the photographs to prove it. Leaving a legacy in the lives of my sons… different to the legacy left by my Dad… has required me to be intentional. How are you travelling as a Dad? What great moments have you strategically and intentionally initiated with your son or daughter? What great memories are you creating? What legacy are you leaving?
My friend and mentor, Robert Lewis, author of ‘Raising a Modern Day Knight’, created the idea of a ‘Legacy Album’… for Dads to record certain words and special events that will take your son back and make those memories spring to life again as if they happened yesterday… a legacy for him, from your heart to his… and a contribution to your family heritage… something your son will one day show your grandson or great grandson.
The ‘Raising a Modern Day Knight’ movement has now released an App for IPhones and IPads… so that many Dads now, are without excuse. The APP makes it very easy for a Dad to capture and record your words and photographs etc., as well as offering regular encouragements through monthly “Dad Challenge” videos etc. I encourage you to watch their short promotional video they’ve produced for their App, that I’m convinced will inspire you to both download the App, and utilize it to its full potential… thereby unleashing your true potential as an intentional Dad.
And of course ‘Fathering Adventures’ can help provide you with all of the opportunities, experiences, outdoor adventures, milestones, memories, and photographs you could ever need, to really win big with your son, and propel him forward into an unhindered, fulfilling, and abundant life. We have an adventure for you and your son… daughters too… no matter the age, now in a growing number of locations around the country. Find one of our adventures that best suits you, at our “Upcoming Adventures” page here… http://fatheringadventures.squarespace.com/upcoming-adventures/ .
“The father wound is so deep and so all-pervasive in so many parts of the world that its healing could well be the most radical social reform conceivable.” (Father Richard Rohr)
“Not only here in the West, but across the globe, disengaged fathers are leaving a mark that will forever reshape the future of our planet. You show me a person that is angry, violent, depressed, selfish, sexually immoral, hyper-driven, or one of several other personality types, and I’ll show you a father wound. Nothing is more important to a young man, or a young woman, than a father’s love, respect and acceptance. And nothing is more damaging than when the question ‘Am I good enough?’ is asked of the father by the child, and the answer is silence.” (Justin Hunt – Film Producer)
I encourage you to watch the following 2 minute long trailer for Justin Hunt’s most recent documentary, ‘ABSENT’, about the impact of disengaged fathers. ‘ABSENT’ has won ‘Best Documentary’ at numerous film festivals all around the world.
‘ABSENT’ documents the devastating reality of Author David Blankenhorn’s words… when he spoke as a social scientist back in 1996… “Fatherlessness is the most harmful demographic trend of this generation. It is the leading cause of declining well-being in our society. It is also the engine driving our most urgent social problems, from crime to adolescent pregnancy to child abuse to domestic violence against women.”
The reason why the impact of absent / disengaged fathers is so devastating, is simple… because the role of a father in the life of his child is absolutely critical. And one of the reasons why the significance and weightiness of a father’s role is typically undervalued within our society today, is because it is no longer adequately defined, and nor has it been for many generations now, dating back the advent of the Industrial Revolution. Far too few men today have a clear and succinct vision for their lives as men, husbands, and fathers. They simply default to what their own father’s offered in those areas, and for most men, that fell woefully short. e.g. providing financially only.
The impact of father absence is immense…
• 63% of teen suicides come from fatherless homes. That’s 5 times the national average. Source: US Department of Justice;
• 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes. That’s 14 times the national average. Source: Justice and Behaviour;
• 85% of children with behavioural problems come from fatherless homes. That’s 20 times the national average. Source: Centre for Disease Control;
• 71% of all high school drop outs come from fatherless homes. That’s 9 times the national average. Source: National Principals Association Report;
• 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centres come from fatherless homes. That’s 10 times the national average. Source: Rainbows for all God’s children;
• 85% of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes. That’s 20 times the national average. Source: US Department of Justice.
‘Fathering Adventures’ is a movement that is actively reducing the devastating effects of father absence, by inspiring, equipping, and enabling “fathers”… not necessarily biological… to be present, engaged, and intentional, in the lives of their own children, and those children in our society who find themselves fatherless already. So Dads, I encourage you to join us… to play your part in this critical movement. And please be sure to tell your friends.
Our next Dad & Daughter and Father-Son Adventure Weekends in North Queensland are already sold out, but vacancies still exist for a 5 Night Father-Son Adventure here, in just over ten (10) weeks time now… June 30 – July 5, 2012. And then of course we have a Father-Son Adventure Weekend planned at Mapleton in South-East Queensland in August 17-19, and a Dad & Daughter Adventure Weekend planned at Mt Tamborine in South-East Queensland, in September 14-16. You can find the details of all of our Upcoming Adventures here… http://fatheringadventures.squarespace.com/upcoming-adventures/ . I hope to meet you soon.
Most good men struggle between their desire to be a good father, and the reality of being one. Our children aren’t born into the world holding on tightly to a manual to hand us to read and master, in order to provide us with everything that child is going to require of us. For the majority of us, it’s a case of on-the-job training… learning as we go. Fathering sons is hard enough, but at least we Dads were once boys ourselves. Fathering daughters on the other hand… most of us find that so much more difficult… the feminine heart being a mystery to many of us.
I’m a man who likes to keep things as simple as possible, because when something is simple, there’s a greater likelihood of actually following through and applying it into my life. So in the spirit of keeping things simple, please allow me to share three things that every daughter needs to receive from her Dad. If you’re not a Dad of a daughter, please continue to read on anyway. Why? Because it’s highly likely that you’re married to a daughter (remember your wife is a daughter), and that your son will one day marry a daughter. You’ll want to be armed with these simple, yet life-giving truths, so that you can be a man of understanding.
I refer to these three things as the three (3) A’s:
2. Affection, &
And a word of warning men… if your daughter doesn’t receive the three (3) A’s from you, as she is meant to, then she will seek them out from another masculine source… from outside of the home… from someone whose motives are less noble and honourable… who’s more interested in receiving life for himself, rather than offering life to another.
One further word of warning men… don’t stop! In the same way that your favourite sporting team can forge a strong lead by half time… if they were to rest only on all of the good work they did during that first half, then that lead would evaporate very quickly, and become an actual deficit. So don’t stop offering the three (3) A’s to your daughter once puberty kicks in, and don’t even stop when your daughter marries her husband. Your role as father does not end until you draw your very last breath.
There’s an ancient Chinese proverb that says, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.“. Fathering Adventures is more than a book, it’s more than a conference, it’s more than a demonstration, or video resource… as good as all of those things are. Fathers from all over Australia, and further abroad, are bringing their sons and daughters to our various adventures offered throughout North Queensland, South-East Queensland, and Victoria. They discover exactly what their sons and daughters need to receive from them, they get to experience a practical application of what they learn, and they get to experience first-hand, just how much they enjoy their child, and how much their child enjoys and needs them.
On the subject of Dads & Daughters, we have “tentatively” booked a couple of additional Dad & Daughter Adventure Weekends for the weekends of July 20-22 on Magnetic Island in North Queensland, and September 14-16 at Mt Tamborine in South-East Queensland. If you’re interested in joining us for either one of those weekends, please contact us immediately, otherwise we may be forced to surrender those dates, and wait until 2013.
Please help us to build a stronger future for our Nation, one family at a time. Forward this email on to all of your friends and colleagues. And be sure to look through all of our upcoming adventures… http://fatheringadventures.squarespace.com/upcoming-adventures/ … to register for one of our numerous Father-Son or Dad & Daughter Adventures on offer throughout 2012 & beyond.