By Nicko

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‘Father Figures’, edited by Paul Connolly. In bookshops now.

Sometimes the GiantsAmongMen mission can spread beyond the actual site. As founder of the site, I was asked recently to contribute to a book on ‘Father Figures‘, writing about the experience of being a stepfather. It’s a great book, full of wisdom, laughs, sadness and  characters, by some of Australia’s most interesting writers. And me.

And then, for Fathers’ Day, yesterday, I was asked to write a piece for the online media site, The New Daily. It’s here. In yesterday’s article, I mentioned a friend who has recently become a father and how it’s hard to describe what it’s actually like, the highs and lows, to those about to embark on raising children.

In response to the article, he wrote to me: ‘It feels like the world is shifting gear on how to take dads on the journey of being dads. I.e. The increasing importance of men’s health and lack of information out there about being a male model in the modern world.’

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The author (right) and his sons in Chicago, at Halloween, 2011. Dodgy and blurry shot by crazy drunk guy.

I hope he’s right. As elder statesmen, even though some of us are still entertaining the idea of becoming fathers or diving back in again as silver fox dads, possibly in encore marriages, we Giant fathers can play a role in pushing values that feel important. For example, I strongly believe the world is lacking empathy, from refugees, to helping neighbours out, to waving thanks to another car driver who has let you into a gap in traffic, on the road (if they let you in).

What qualities, from our wealth of experience, do you feel are the most important to promote in today’s boys?