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Your Expertise Needed

They say a friend in need is a friend indeed. Yes, we need your help. Dads4Kids the organisation I volunteer for is in the process of renewing our website and newsletter. We also want to grow and improve our range of services, but we need your expert advice to do so.

All we are asking is that you give 5 minutes of your precious time to fill out the Dads4Kids Online Survey. To encourage you to do so and to thank you for your amazing expertise, we want to give you a FREE COPY of “The Little Blue Book of Tips for Fathers and Father Figures” by Dr Bruce Robinson. This booklet is small, less than 40 pages with less than 3,000 words but is full of very helpful tips for Dads.

Let me tell you about Dr Bruce Robinson. Bruce is one amazing man. He was the West Australian of the Year in 2013 and got very close to receiving the Australian of the Year Award. Cutting to the quick, Dr Bruce Robinson is Australia’s best-selling author of fatherhood books. He released ‘Fathering from the Fast Lane’ in 2001 and ‘Daughters & Their Dads’ in 2008. He established ‘The Fathering Project’ in Perth, WA which is doing amazing work, particularly in schools across Australia.

Here are some excerpts from the free book that you will get when you fill out the Dads4Kids Survey. (This FREE BOOK offer only lasts till the end of May 2018.)

p.3 Tips

Letting kids know your love is unconditional

  • Tell your kids that your love does not depend upon their performance at school or sport
  • Tell them too that is doesn’t depend on their music, friends, beliefs or behaviour
  • Make a clear distinction between not loving what they say or do versus not loving them
  • Don’t confuse unconditional love with trying to be their ‘pal’ rather than their parent
  • Surprise them by doing random, unpredicted kind acts for them
  • Avoid overusing the word ‘but’ eg. “I love you, but …”

p.10 Tips

Making time after school

  • Pick them up from school when possible
  • Take them out occasionally for ice creams, swims, bowling or other treats
  • Have dinner with the kids most nights of the week
  • Turn the TV off during dinner and listen to them
  • Encourage plenty of humour at home
  • Don’t miss special evening events, eg music, sport, club nights
  • Coach or manage each of their sports teams at least once (not just the sport you like)
  • Get an answering machine, especially for mealtimes

p.23 Tips

Listening to kids

  • All dads and father-figures find listening hard
  • Allow enough time to listen
  • Resist the urge to jump in and lecture to kids
  • Don’t boomerang discussion back to yourself
  • Ask yourself what it is like from Their shoes
  • Become curious about their music and interests (eg. Buy & read a magazine about them)
  • Ask questions about their favourite websites and about their friends
  • Listen even when you are afraid to hear what they want to tell you
  • Don’t solve, criticise or judge

In his own words Dr Bruce Robinson shares how he wrote ‘Fathering from the Fast Lane’.

When I started this book, I wrote some text and included my own experiences and ideas but it sounded a bit one-dimensional. After all, I was only one man, with one particular personality and experience of life. I had only one father and have only three children, each with their own unique personality. These were not sufficiently representative of a broader range of fathers.

 To avoid this problem I decided to look at statistics on fathering – as a medical scientist, statistics are second nature to me. But useful as they are, they are quite dry, and lack the personal element that we all need to be able to relate to the issues. Also, I noticed a lot of inaccuracy or even bias in much of the statistical work, meaning that some of the data was of uncertain value.

 I tried including a few things that I remembered hearing from other dads that I knew, from friends, from patients or public figures, but that was also limited because it relied on my memory of what they said and was also only my interpretation of those experiences. Realising that I needed a far broader range of more personal experience if the book was going to be really useful, I decided to interview a wide range of busy, successful men from different walks of life.

 Overall, from all of these interviews there were many things that were common but there were always lots of individual stories from each dad and gems of ideas that I couldn’t wait to get down on paper. I found them helpful, and I hope you do too.

 Lovework

Fathering from the Fast Lane’ is a brilliant book and I would definitely encourage you to buy it. However, if you spend 5 minutes of your time helping us with the Dads4Kids Survey you will receive a free copy of ‘The Little Blue of Tips for Fathers & Father-figures’. Surely this is the best option for the moment. You help us, we’ll help you.

Complete the Dads4Kids Survey here.  (Note: This FREE BOOK offer only lasts till the end of May 2018.)

Yours for sharing your expertise

Warwick Marsh

PS: Remember Mother’s Day is this Sunday 13 May 2018. Keep a lookout for our new ‘Thanking Mothers’ ads and send us an email when you see them. View the long version of the advert here and see interviews with five mothers on the Dads4Kids YouTube Channel. Share them with your family.

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