THE BLOG

What Does Being a Father Mean to You?

19/06/2015 12:49 BST | Updated 18/06/2016 10:59 BST

Is Father's Day a day of receiving or a day of giving - what did it mean to you?

As I observed one Grandfather picking up the bill for a lazy Sunday afternoon Father's Day lunch I heard his son saying but Dad it was our treat to you..... I could hear the Grandfather say I did because I can son and the pleasure is all mine. You could see how he exuded joy at the sight of his family, his son's children, playing with the ball, running the race through the garden at the restaurant and hiding in the bushes with the three-year-olds.

I noticed another young husband who was playing the game of monkey with his kids in the trees, making the branches swaying and making the sounds of a monkey.... they just laughed heartedly at him. Both these men were creating new bonds, making memories of a wonderful Father's Day for years to come.

I saw the faces of men, who are not fathers, the sadness as they watched the other kids play, almost a moment of soul-searching why they were not fathers. What was the price they paid for not being a father; was it worth giving up and of course the fact that they made that choice - it was their option. For others it might not be a choice and they have been dealt the card of having to accept no fatherhood.

This got me thinking about my childhood and how much my Mother had to do and the role that she had to fulfil and how often she had to play Dad too, albeit there was an occasion when it was Dad who had to be the disciplinarian and simply say "No Shirley".

  • My question to all of you is what does fatherhood mean to you today?
  • No matter who, where, what and why you are who you are, how did you view today and are you really that modern man?
  • Did you expect to be pampered and have someone to look after you?
  • Did you spend time with your family?
  • Do your kids or grandkids think you are cool?

I ask you to explore these questions not just for today but tomorrow and every day. The commitment of being a father and acknowledging what that means to you. Look at some of these thoughts and see what resonates with you.

  • Do you share selflessly?
  • How do you contribute to your family unit?
  • If you are not a father yet or choose not to be what about mentoring young people - especially young men?
  • What makes a better father, husband, lover and friend?
  • Does your job or family come first?
  • Who made this day special for you?
  • How do you communicate - or do you just go into your cave?
  • Did you ensure you spent time with your Dad, or called him, or gave thanks for him even if he has passed away?
  • How did the day make you feel?
  • Did you remember at the end of the day to share your gratitude for your wonderful family?
  • Did you spend some time with your wife/partner/lover that helped create your beautiful family?
  • Even if you are adopted somewhere somebody in the world is your father or your step-father or an honorary dad in your life - did you think of them?
  • Do you show your Dad respect and love?
  • Do you show your children respect and love?
  • How often do you connect with him - or is it just Fathers Day, birthdays, Christmas etc.?

After a few moments of reflection I would ask you to think about when you last told your Dad you loved him. Remember if it wasn't for your Dad you would not be here. Your parents took part in your creation and you in turn did or will take part in the creation of your own children and possibly a son and the generations to come.

Be mindful - remember the importance of Father's Day - why not make each Sunday a family day, for fathers, for mothers and the children alike.

  • How can you be the best dad?
  • What do you need to tell your children?
  • What do you need to hear from your Dad?
  • And what is the legacy you want to pass onto your children?

If you still have a Dad embrace it, learn from his wisdom, show him the love and the respect and give him some of your time. Memories cannot be recreated and with time our most valuable asset share it and share it well with those you love.

To all the fathers that have gone before us and allowed us the freedom we have today let us be thankful!

Shirley Palmer is a Transformational and Business Coach, Mindset Master, Speaker and Author. She works with CEOs, senior management teams, professionals and entrepreneurs positively changing the direction of their business and/or personal life.