Two years ago I heard former Prime Minister Paul Keating speak at the Opera House. He spoke of his family life as well as all the political stuff. One thing he said struck me and has stayed with me ever since. He spoke of how his mum and grandma gave him ‘the love quotient’ – this limitless, bottomless reserve of unconditional love and support. He said he knew, no matter what, that he was deeply loved by his family, and that this special knowledge gave him the confidence to seize the day, set his sights high, and to try to conquer the world no matter what obstacles lay in his path. I decided as soon as I heard that notion that I desperately wanted to provide that to my kids as well. Not that I was wanting my kids to be the PM, but I wanted them to have that deep reservoir of confidence and self-assurance that comes from unconditional love.
The thing is, dads don’t often provide the love quotient, or think they can…mum does. If we are going to raise resilient and confident kids that can deal with a volatile world dominated by rapid change, we need dads to provide this quotient as well. We want our children to tap into that love quotient from dad in order to draw inherent self-belief and confidence as well as to become emotionally intelligent with a healthy ability to articulate their feelings. This is really important too for dads when they’re teaching their sons what it takes to be a ‘good man’. Being attuned to your own sensitivities and those of your family and friends is part of what it takes to be a good man.
A good man builds his EQ.
When you’re having those horrible fitful nights of sleep, or feel super stressed as you do the mad work/family juggle, or you feel overwhelmed with where to start on cracking some behavioural issue with your kid (that’s RIGHT where I am right now), just remember to come back to the fundamentals. Demonstrate to your kids your unconditional, limitless, universe-size love for them, and they will use it as a platform to launch into their own amazing life.