‘Good Dads Great Dads – footsteps worth following’ is the name of a fantastic book by Mal White. The forward says it all:
“I dedicate this book to my three sons; Jordan, Jesse and Josiah. You have taught me how wonderful it is to be a dad.”
The ‘In Memory’ part really got to me:
“To my dad, I wish with all my heart you did not die so young. (55 years) We would have been good friends. Thanks for believing in me, loving me and taking me fishing. My heart still yearns for you.”
‘Good Dads Great Dads’ only gets better when you read the chapter headings:
- Do something
- Build Something
- Go Somewhere
- Say Something
- Model Something
- Create Something
- Impart Something
- Be There
- Share Something
- Read Something, and many more
It may sound weird but I was crying by the time I got to the chapter headings. You see ‘fatherhood’ is all about doing something. When it comes to fatherhood, actions are absolutely critical. It is entirely possible for you to read this newsletter studiously every week but still be a lousy father. Sound hard to believe?
Let me tell you a story: I was doing a fatherhood event at a local school with a well known footballer. It was a father and son event. There was a talk and a barbecue designed to engender discussion and positive interaction.
A young man came up to me. I can still see his face: long black hair with a few curls, handsome and articulate and obviously thoughtful, probably about 17 years old.
I started a conversation and during our brief chat he shared the story of his relationship with his father with me. He said sadly, almost wistfully,
“You know, my father has done all the parenting courses and read all the fatherhood books but he doesn’t spend any time with me”.
He was not angry or bitter (to his credit), just sad. I could sense the deep mourning in his voice that he was trying to hide but it was there never the less.
Perhaps it was the memory of this young man’s haunting comment that filled my eyes with tears in the light of Mal White’s practical ‘do something’ approach to fathering. In my experience, if you don’t do something as a father you can end up being a ‘cloud without rain’ not to mention a huge disappointment to your son or daughter.
Reading Mal’s Chapter 8, ‘Be There’ brought home the vivid memory of a time I was not there for my daughter.
She was in Year 11 at school and singing one of her original songs (I found out later) at the school assembly. Parents were invited. From memory, my wife attended but I was too busy ‘saving the world’, or that was my excuse at the time.
Excuses are very easy to come by when you are a man, even going right back to Adam in the Garden of Eden and the story of eating the forbidden fruit:
“It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit and I ate it”.
So I had a really good excuse. I was busy saving the world that day so I missed out on hearing my daughter perform one of her original songs in front of her friends and school. I had heard her perform the same song in concerts all over the world when we travelled as a family band, but I had never heard her singing her own songs in front of her school and friends. I have few regrets, but this is one of them.
What I can state with absolute assurance is that you will not regret buying a copy of Mal White’s magnificent book on fathering called ‘Good Dads great Dads – footsteps worth following’. I can also guarantee you will be challenged and encouraged to do something with your children.
The beauty of Good Dads Great Dads is that it is short, and has lots of photos. I reckon you could read it in one hour, give or take a bit. As a father, that could well be the best hour of your life you have ever spent for your children’s sake.
Reading Mal’s book will inspire you to do something, with and for your children. As a tall black man once said,
“Just do it!”
I will let Tim Costello’s recommendation speak for itself:
“I thank Mal White for the gift he is offering with this incredibly thoughtful yet practical work. Mal has tapped into a deep well of reflection and wisdom. I know that many will find this book a valuable help in enhancing their journey towards becoming ‘great dads’.”
I don’t do this very often, nor do I do it lightly. I believe every dad in Australia needs to get a copy of ‘Good Dads Great Dads’. Buy a copy of this book for yourself and buy five or ten to give away to your friends. You solve the challenge of buying presents for people and you help the children of Australia at the same time.
The best news is that Mal White is offering a 20% discount for orders of five or more books for all subscribers to this newsletter as a special Christmas offer. Contact him via his email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I will be taking advantage of this offer. I hope you do too.
Yours for great dads
PS. Greatly appreciate it if you could log a supportive comment on my article at Online Opinion called ‘The Attack on the Nurturing Knight’. The vitriolic attack on the Modern Aussie Man Whitepaper has surprised us all. The good news is it has started a conversation. Our job is to keep it going. Only good can come out of it.
Post a comment here: http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=1575