International Speaker Urges Boys to Craft Vision of Man They Will Become
The Centre for Ethics was delighted to present John Badalament – an author, filmmaker, educator and recognised leader in the field of fatherhood. The international speaker first addressed the Senior School at assembly where he asked boys to start thinking about the most important role they will ever have.
John, author of The Modern Dads Dilemma: How To Stay Connected with Your Kids in a Rapidly Changing World (2010) and acclaimed documentary film All Men are Sons: Exploring the Legacy of Fatherhood, explained that everyone had a legacy from their father or father figure.
John said many boys, without perhaps realising, were already mentors to other boys and that some also looked at their teachers or significant adults as role models. He urged boys to start thinking about the legacy now and to begin crafting a vision of the father they will become.
“When you do become a father, you will reflect and react… What do I want to repeat (from that legacy) and what do I want to transform? It is the most important role you will ever have in your life so I encourage you all to start thinking about it now.”
During the day, John explored the legacy of fatherhood with Year 10, 11 and 12 students at greater length. Director of Co-Curricular and Planning Mark Morrissy said John encouraged the boys to consider the question of ‘what makes a good dad’. The qualities boys nominated included being funny, supportive, ‘a good bloke’, puts their children first, understanding, perceptive, honest, encouraging, a good listener, respectful, patient, loved their children and sets fair limits.
Mark commented “I think it was challenging for the boys to consider what they would like to be as fathers; as many would never have entertained the thought before. It was great to see that when they were asked about whether their fathers spend enough time with them, around 75 per cent said yes; while 30-40 per cent also said they felt fathers could spend more time with them.”
John also spoke with around 50 parents in the evening. President of the Parents’ Association, Mr David Payne, said John provided a terrific workshop largely focused on fathers. “It was really interactive and genuine, with practical advice, tools, techniques and solid information.”