BUCKLE UP, DADS!
Franklin D. Roosevelt said: “The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.”
You need to stand up now and stop crying, because it’s your time to make a difference in your community and family. It is time for you to take the stage and show the world that you are unique and dynamic. It’s all in your hands, heart and head, just keep the vision of success in your sight. God is there to provide guidance, if you ask.
Take a writing pad and do that wish list, regain your energy and stay focused. You are not alone; there are thousands of other men and women who are also going through difficult moments. Often our failures are as result of weak resolve or lack of purpose rather than a lack of ideas or talent. Remember, time wasted will never be regained.
I enjoy reading books about the imperatives of instilling a sense of responsible parenting in the fathers of our children. One example is the use of car seats. Apparently some men feel that car seats create a distance between themselves and their children; perhaps they even have a sense that they are ‘chaining’ their children to the chair. Regardless of how the father feels, mothers need to stand firm and remind fathers that these car seats, like seat belts that drivers and passengers wear, are there to protect and save the lives of the child whilst in the vehicle.
The safety of your child should be paramount and I for one am grateful for the latest car seat legistlation (see page 73) that does protect our children. I encourage all men and fathers to change the game plan – embrace this legislation and strap your children in. Lead by example and strap yourself in too! There have been too many sad stories in the news lately about overloaded transport vehicles, where young children are losing their lives. We want to see the face of road safety change to protect all stakeholders, from the youngest to the oldest. If we truly love our children, it is time to reduce the high death rate of children due to vehicle unsafety. Let your Father’s Day gift be one of a car seat or a booster seat to keep your child safe! And remember… all car seats must be SABS approved!
I am fascinated by what quality time means to different individuals. There are those who spend quality time alone, some with their pets, friends, family, strangers and loved ones. The essence of winter is warmth, unity and sharing. It might be cold, but dads can bring warmth to the home and encourage bonding through home-based and family-centred activities. Use this time to sit around the fire and share stories, pass on family history and make new traditions.
I admire men who stand up and proudly claim their rightful place as fathers. Those men who say ‘I am a man, a husband and a father.’ Those men who take charge and know what it means to become an active, responsible dad, and not just a sperm donor or ATM dad, we recognise you in this issue and we applaud your efforts to break the stereotype of absent dads. I hope we can push it one step further and synergise parenting, business and leadership to create a better Africa.
I’m blessed that I still get a morning call from my dad to chat about a number of things. The calls from him bring me lots of joy and hope, and he is the one man who refuses to see me in pain. He instilled love, respect and faith in all his daughters whilst we were growing up. My dad is my best friend; he knows my heart and my voice.
So remember to do the right thing and buckle up… from babies on board to drivers and passengers. Everyone should be properly strapped in. Give your child a chance to grow up safely and one day be able to call you their best friend! Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We love our dads!