Ian Soars – 17th June 2016

I am proud of the way mums across the UK raise their children. It is easy, when looking at some the statistics around mental and physical health, to judge or hark back to a forgotten era of maternal perfection… But in our experience of single parent families and those with dads present, mums have done an incredible job in a culture that seeks to challenge childhood, threaten young people’s stability and has removed many of the traditional support frameworks for families. They are amazing!

However, I think we sometimes lose sight of the value of Dads. An involved father brings much to a child’s life. Things like approval, boundaries, adventure and risk-taking are not the exclusive preserve of Dads… But Dads certainly have a powerful take on them and contribute colossally to a children sense of their place in the world. But the diminishing of a Father’s role has led to a sense that if a marriage or relationship comes under pressure, then the kids won’t mind too much if dad leaves the family home. In the thousands of children we have counselled, that is not Fegans’ experience.

So Fegans takes this opportunity to applaud Dads who commit to being heavily involved in their children’s lives… Whether they live with mum or not. We applaud fathers who, when the relationship breaks down with mum, do not give up on their children or use them as pawns. We think you are great! We love it when we hear how you play with your kids, listen to them, approve of them, encourage them, read with them, laugh, joke and tickle them! We say go swimming, camping, barbecue, walk and play with your children.

We promise you that your children will not forget those precious times as they turn to maturity. But many – I would say most – of the children we work with, cannot remember what has not happened. And it breaks our heart… and theirs. You are their Dad… And whilst you already think of your children as irreplaceable, it may surprise you to know that that is exactly how they think of you.

Ian Soars