Ian Grant, the author of Fathers Who Dare Win, is a world-recognised speaker and founder of New Zealand’s Parents Inc. He is and has been a ground-breaking pioneer in the International Men’s movement
To give you further food for thought, I have reprinted below Ian Grant’s hard-hitting article called “Let’s Give Fatherhood a Better Name.”
Like coming out of a painful nightmare, suddenly our society has woken up to how important fathers are in the raising of their kids. This has happened because we are now coming face to face with the results of large numbers of children being brought up without a dad in their lives.
Angry, unattached young men, acting out violently and without conscience, and young girls looking for male love and affirmation in inappropriate ways, paint a picture of children who lack fathers.
Today’s world desperately needs men who are not just generous at conception; but it needs committed men who are generous in the fathering of their offspring, not just baby-makers, but creative dads who hang in there with their kids.
Fathers, we need to reclaim our manhood in leaving a legacy of great fathering for the next generation through our actions and our investment in this one. Unfortunately today’s society is trying to turn dads into ‘male-mothers’. We are not — we are that unique creature called father.
When Mary and I were writing our book “Growing Great Girls”, we found a number of psychologists talking about the ‘dark ages of parenting’. I presumed that it was 1,000 years ago and it was, in their view, the 50’s to 90’s where half-baked ideas become half-baked ideologies e.g. boys and girls are exactly the same, only their way of being nurtured makes them different. And you don’t need a male mentor to raise boys.
Western society has paid a high price for such thinking.
I released “Fathers Who Dare Win” in 2001 and in 2012 released a new edition of the same book. Over that time, I have spoken to 365,000 parents at our Hot Tips for Parenting seminars. As a result, I am more committed to the importance of fathers in a child’s development than ever before.
I am more convinced than ever that men and women are totally different, and even though our PC society has tried to say they are exactly the same — and I understand why that has happened — for instance, it has allowed women to take up careers that were never available to them, but as with all dynamic changes in cultural thinking, it has created problems, especially in child rearing.
I often see little boys in shopping centres with those dead eyes of fatherlessness. I have made a habit of always complimenting a little boy helping his mother with the shopping trolley, “I bet you your mum is so glad to have such a strong son helping her push the trolley.” I constantly notice his eyes light up because he has received approval from a male.
These differences especially show up in our souls. Simply, men need three things in life:
That is why men enjoy films like Braveheart, Gladiator, Mission Impossible, Coach Carter and the Grid Iron Gang. I would suggest to you that none of those scripts were written by a woman.
At present I am working with the Genesis police team who deal with serious young offenders. They tell me 98% of these offenders’ dads are not there for them. I’ve also been asked to assist three top secondary schools to help teenagers in trouble because 89% of their dads are not there for them.
Dads make great parents because they naturally believe in the 4R’s of parenting:
They teach their children how to take ‘smart’ risks, which is so important as we only succeed in life by taking risks.
Governments and Communities have to get out of the silliness of the 50’s to 70’s and begin encouraging the dream that, “Every child deserves a mother and father.”
Unemployment destroys the dignity of manhood, which in the end affects fatherhood.
Nations need to find creative ways to solve this crisis.
Schools and churches need to ask the hard question, “Why are men missing in our meetings?”
I believe after over 50 years working with youth and families, that the ‘buck’ ends with the man.
If there is a problem with his marriage or family, if he accepts the responsibility for that, then there will be a positive outcome!
Two golden rules with men:
What do you say to a message like that? It is like getting your face washed in the cold icy water of a mountain stream. Its invigorating and it is a wake-up call all at the same time. Our society is pushing the pernicious ideology that men and women are social constructs. That male and female do not exist. Our children pay the price for our stupidity.
Maleness is precious just like femaleness. Your children need what only you can give them as a man. It is the same truth for your wife who is a mother to your children. Her role is irreplaceable. Children need a mother and a father.
Make sure your children appreciate that mystery and receive it. That is why you are your children’s father!
Yours for Daring Fathers,
PS: Good news, Dads4Kids can confirm the speakers for this year’s Men’s Leadership Summit, Friday 16 — Sunday 18 July 2021 at Stanwell Tops, NSW. They are: Dr Allan Meyer, author of Valiant Man; Darren Lewis, the founder of Fathering Adventures; and Cindy McGarvie, author of Lost Boys, ex-Australian Army who will be flying in for the day to do one session.
[Photo by Katherine Chase