By Elliott Rae
The 2018 dad takes responsibility for their children's wellbeing. And not just ensuring they have enough food to eat and all the clothes they need. The 2018 dad is concerned about much more than that. We take on responsibility for our children's wellbeing in the truest and most holistic sense.
That being said, one of my main challenges in fatherhood has been caring for my daughters emotional wellbeing. It's already tough and she's only 2 and a half years old! But making sure she is happy, nurturing her confidence and instilling a strong sense of self are all high up on the agenda for me.
I love it when I see her in a room full of people and she's interacting, expressing herself and comfortable in her own skin. And I also know how difficult it can be to see your child unsure and insecure. Instilling self-esteem is so important for me because I understand how important it is, not just for her happiness and wellbeing today, but for her success and wellbeing for the rest of her life.
Bullying can completely rid a child of their confidence and sense of self and it's only really recently, after becoming a parent and reading more about the long-term affects of bullying, that I have really come to understand how damaging and long lasting the affects can be. For most parents, their children being bullied is their worst nightmare, it makes me extremely uncomfortable just thinking about the possibility that my daughter could be bullied.
I know my daughter will come up against challenges in life, it's to be expected, and I want to equip her and I as best as possible for them.
Part of that is being able to spot the signs of bullying and know what to do if it occurs. What would I do if she came home and said someone had been picking on her? What kind of conversations should I have with her? What kind of interventions can I ask the school to make? Should I get involved and have a word with the other kid's parents? I think these are all questions dads will ask themselves. The good thing is that Kidscape can help to provide some answers.
Kidscape is an excellent resource for fathers and I am so proud to have joined the Board as a Trustee. I want to bring my personal and professional experience to the table to help Kidscape reach as many parents, teachers, carers and children as possible. If a child, parent, teacher or carer needs support, we want them to know that Kidscape is here to offer a helping hand.