Things have changed a lot since I was a boy. I was born in 1966, another World Cup year, and it was during the 1960’s that there was a survey carried out looking at the greatest fears of secondary school children. This was repeated in 2010. I have listed below just a brief comparison of what were the top 4 results, these results were:
Being in a dark room Divorce;
High places Nuclear War;
loud noises being mugged.
Isn’t that sad? Over the years, the world has become an uncomfortable place. The innocence and security of my childhood has more or less gone for the present generation of schoolchildren.
I wonder whether the decline of the traditional family, with a mother and father who stay together through thick and thin, parents who put their children’s interests above their own is part of this. It’s not a new thing though. In the 1840s, Charles Francis Adams, a great American diplomat, wrote this in his diary: “Went fishing with my son today – a day wasted.” On the same day, his son Brook Adams wrote in his diary: “Went fishing with my father – the most wonderful day of my life!” This June we shall celebrate Father’s Day (Sunday 18th), in fact it is the 104th anniversary of Father’s Day; I must admit I sometimes think the role model of a good Father in society is becoming an endangered species! All too often we hear stories of Fathers deserting their families, children growing up with no experience of Fatherhood or families where the Father is emotional disengaged from his children or too busy with work to spend time with them. Maybe what children most need today is time and attention from both their parents. In the United Kingdom today nearly three million children, staggeringly, are being brought up with just one of their parents. The honest fact is that it is the father who is most often missing from the lives of these children. Lack of good role models will cost these children emotionally and cost the country as a whole financially.
Let me ask you dads of young families out there, how would you prefer to spend a Saturday morning?
1. creating another DIY disaster;
2. trudging around the shops; or
3. having fun with your toddler while eating bacon butties and chatting with other dads?
If your choice would be option 3, then Who Let The Dads Out? is for you!
Who Let the Dads Out? is a toddler group for fathers (and other male carers) and their pre-school children. It aims to:
– be a fun way for dads and children to spend time together, and
– be a place where fathers can meet other men in the same position.
The group meets on the first Saturday of each month in Hoole Lighthouse Centre, from 10am to midday). In addition to a wide range of toddlers’ toys and a craft table, there are the famous bacon sandwiches, good coffee and good company. It is regularly attended by 15 to 20 dads and up to 30 kids.
Finally, consider this; Children brought up without a constant, reliable father-figure in their lives are going to find it hard to understand the constant love of God the Father. If your natural parent isn’t there to show his love for you, how hard will it be to accept the love of God? Saint Paul wrote this: “Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.”