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What is a good dad?

(28 Posts)
JamesDelayneysTattoos Fri 16-Mar-18 22:50:08

I was at parents eve the other day with one of our dd’s When she commented that her dad, my doh had never been to a parents evening.

He works long hours, runs his own company. I am at home. We have dc’s of 23, 20, 14, 12, 10 and 6 (first 2 are not his biologically, he came along when eldest was 6 ).

He has never been to a parents evening, I don’t ask any more. He’s never been to sports day, golden book day, school plays, productions.

Does it matter?

Creasey31 Fri 16-Mar-18 22:52:34

As long as you are fine with it then it doesn’t matter surely, like you said he works long hours and every relationship is different.

ivenoideawhatimdoing Fri 16-Mar-18 22:52:38

They will always remember the fact he wasn’t there. But if he isn’t absent in other areas and always made time for them when he could it won’t matter too much. Does he take an interest in other aspects of their lives? Clubs etc?

If he is as disengaged from family life as he is from school life then I think you have an issue.

JamesDelayneysTattoos Fri 16-Mar-18 22:58:46

He works away a couple of nights a week, is home weekends but works evenings at home and most of the weekends too. He works a lot and I have tried to discuss how I think he has the balance wrong.

Dc’s Have a few activities after school and if I’m struggling with logistics, whether it’s putting little one to bed whilst I do pick up from an activity he moans that he doesn’t like doing that cos he falls asleep then doesn’t get any work done. He doesn’t like “helping out” with the pick ups and bed times.

It bothered me that dd mentioned it.

ivenoideawhatimdoing Fri 16-Mar-18 23:02:44

OP, I think you need to have a sit down conversation. It’s obviously something the kids are very much aware of (possibly even talk about amongst themselves).

He is doing remarkably well providing for his family; but there’s more to being a parent than just financial contribution. He needs to start investing in them. Otherwise he’ll blink; they’ll be in their twenties and they won’t be anywhere near.

BarbaraofSevillle Fri 16-Mar-18 23:02:51

I would say taking equal responsibility for housework and childrearing without having to be spoonfed throughout, but that can be difficult in a presenteeism culture workplace or long hours generally.

However, there are certainly some working fathers parents that hide at work to avoid potentially undesirable tea/bath/story/bed tasks.

BackforGood Fri 16-Mar-18 23:05:25

It would matter to my dc.
My dc know who comes to what, and yes, it would bother them if either one of us never made the effort. That doesn't mean getting to everything (not usually practical), but it does mean coming to some things.

DioneTheDiabolist Fri 16-Mar-18 23:07:59

Ask your DC what they think makes a good dad and then, later when you are alone ask him what he thinks makes one. And take the conversation from there.

Good luck OP.

user1493413286 Fri 16-Mar-18 23:11:31

I think it matters to children; it did to me and although as an adult I understand the need to work I think a bit more balance matters.
I also don’t think it’s hard for a dad to manage to come to these every so often

SD1978 Sat 17-Mar-18 01:18:17

There’s no clear cut answer. And a good dad doesn’t mean they are a good husband (and vice versa) a good dad spends time with their kids, is present for them when they are at home, is someone the kids love and can trust. Same makes a good Mum. Stability, love, support, fun. Same makes a good partner. Love, support, respect. There’s no ‘rule’ about time spent- it’s the feeling around and about that time for me

SD1978 Sat 17-Mar-18 01:20:35

And I’d say never supporting the kids publicly by going to things would be an issue for me. I know how DC lights up when she see us somewhere. And that’s as a separated couple who are coparenting.

dontquit Sat 17-Mar-18 01:33:32

To me doesn't sound like he's a dad at all! My dad worked hard but always made time for family. He did shift work and a lot of work around the home and very involved in community things but family always came first. He didn't always do parents days etc as that wouldn't be possible but he did enough to ensure that we knew he wanted to. My kids are too young to be at that stage but my dh is great and already does as much as I do with the dcs. I would prefer to have less money wise and possession wise and have a happy secure family. I could not do what you do.

Sn0tnose Sat 17-Mar-18 03:00:16

My DH's dad is a good dad. He worked his socks off when they were younger to make sure they had everything they needed. He went to their rugby games and cheered them all on when it was peeing down with rain and they were losing. He made sure they all had boundaries and he did his best to make sure they stuck to them. He installed a sense of decency in them and the importance of family. They drive each other mad but he clearly adores and respects my mil and he's never happier than when his family are all around him. He's a wonderful man and now my DH is no longer a stroppy teenager, he can see how lucky he is to have him.

LolitaLempicka Sat 17-Mar-18 04:00:05

Yes, I think it matters a lot. It looks to them that their lives are not important. And the fact that your dd said something makes it doubly bad. Why does he not ever go? He sounds very selfish. He won’t get their lives back.

HuskyMcClusky Sat 17-Mar-18 04:25:26

To me doesn't sound like he's a dad at all!

I think that’s pretty unfair, actually. He’s supporting (or has supported, assuming the older couple are now largely self-sufficient), seven children!

Providing a decent standard of living for a family that size is a bloody big call.

My dad worked hard but always made time for family.

Yes, so did mine. But he had 3 children, not 7.

QueenofLouisiana Sat 17-Mar-18 06:12:41

I don’t think there is a clear cut answer to that one. Your DP is doing a sterling job of providing for you all and that can never be underestimated but it is a shame that the pay-off is that he is not around for the children.

My DH is a pretty good dad- is very involved in DS’s sporting life (huge commitment) and facilitates extra things to help him improve further. He also makes time for “boys’ nights” or days out with just the two of them- he found this really hard when DS was little but did it to give me a few hours break, now DS is older he finds it much easier and they have a great time watching movies I’d hate or going to ComicCon. However, he’ll also kick DS’s backside into gear when needed and backs up (at least publically) anything I’ve said-even if privately he doesn’t agree.

He’s a good role model- works hard, studied very hard to make a better life for himself. Treats me with respect and love, is a decent man.

He doesn’t do parent consultations as they are often early, before he can get home. He also doesn’t do the “mind work” (can’t think what it’s really called) of having DS-knowing where he needs to be and when, paying the bills for his competitions etc (as in literally paying the cash- we share all money equally). So he isn’t perfect, but I’m not a perfect parent either.

MandrakeLake Sat 17-Mar-18 06:20:04

The work/life balance does seem off but he is supporting a lot of people and the burden of providing for that many people is huge. If he's so tired he can't do bedtime because he falls asleep he sounds exhausted. If he feels he couldn't work less because it would endanger your income are you prepared to work part time to make up the difference? Just saying "you need to do more" won't go down awfully well I'd imagine. In an ideal world he'd have said no to that many kids but they're here now so you'll have to find a compromise. I would point out to the kids that he isn't there because he's working.

BrandNewHouse Sat 17-Mar-18 06:23:37

You don’t get to decide whether your child think he is a remote an uninvolved Dad: that’s her opinion for herself.

If her opinion bothers you, that’s unfortunate, but I’m reading from what you’ve said that it wouldn’t bother him; or certainly not enough that he would make any changes.
He probably thinks he is a great Dad, but he is actually very very selfish, isn’t he?

JamesDelayneysTattoos Sat 17-Mar-18 22:20:30

We have 6 children not 7.

I can’t work because dh can’t/won’t share work hours and I can’t earn enough to afford childcare and take any kind of pressure off. He aims to retire in the next 6 or 7 years.

I totally appreciate that he’s worked bloody hard over the years and I’ve been incredibly lucky to be able to stay at home bringing up our kids. I am a doula and have worked from time to time but we relocated 6 years ago so haven’t been able to disappear for an unknown amount of time without back up for the kids. Where we lived before I had close friends with similar aged children who would help me out. Dh prefers me to be around for the kids.

We had a bit of a chat and I think he’s taking ds and dd to the cinema tomorrow.

dontquit Sun 18-Mar-18 00:37:50

@HuskyMcCluskey. I can just base this on my dad and my dh. My dad did have 6children. He worked extremely hard to provide for us and times were hard then and money tight but we had the essentials..most importantly though we had a great role model, love, support and discipline. Our mother and father were both parents.
The OPs husband works for himself and I know this requires serious commitment and long hours but surely it also means that once in a blue moon he can make the effort to attend a play/concert or whatever. He won't get this time back again and his dcs will remember his lack of interest during their childhood. That's just my opinion.

HuskyMcClusky Sun 18-Mar-18 00:50:32

Okay, sorry - 6 children. I see your point, but I have to say that I don’t think bringing up six children a generation ago was the same financial burden as doing it now.

BrandNewHouse Sun 18-Mar-18 05:54:00

We had a bit of a chat and I think he’s taking ds and dd to the cinema tomorrow.

So somewhere the children will mostly have to be silent? What a super message to them.

Do you defend his behaviour to the children and tell them that it is good enough for them?

PrimeraVez Sun 18-Mar-18 07:06:56

I don't think there's a clear cut answer and it will vary differently from family to family but I do think it's important for both parents to be involved in, and share, as many aspects of parenting as possible.

For example, DH works very flexible hours, so it's normally him that does the nursery run, rather than me. BUT whenever I can, I do take DS/pick him up, I always go to nursery events, and I take an active interest in asking him about nursery and what he has been up to.

I grew up with a father who worked minimum 6 days a week and I have zero memories of family holidays, days out, him coming to watch me in netball matches etc. Did we need the money? To a degree, yes. But I do believe he could have been more involved had he wanted to and it has had a massive impact on our relationship now I am an adult, and I would never 'allow' that kind of dynamic to develop in my own home now.

YellowMakesMeSmile Sun 18-Mar-18 07:23:46

You and he may not regret his actions but the children can decide for themselves as adults how much contact etc they have with parents.

As an adult you can reflect in the choices your parents made, I've friends who have minimal contact due to being raised in large families where there was little time for them and that's without an absent father who takes no interest.

MrsJonesAndMe Sun 18-Mar-18 07:38:09

I would say the key to being a good parent (mum or dad) is to get a balance between all the demands.

Working to provide is important, but my DH knows what the children get up to, helps to facilitate their clubs (one a week each) and does go to the odd parents evening/Christmas play. I do the majority of the daily school run/lunch boxes/dress up days etc, but he reads every other night, helps with homework etc and is very involved. Weekends family time in the main.

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