This session will begin by asking each participant to visualize what might have been her or his dad’s joie de vivre, the glint in his eye. Participants will then consider the gap between their dad’s glint and his reality. Did he forfeit his dreams to do something that fulfilled him less but paid him more? Did “success” mean less time with his family?
While some dads address that dilemma with pride and a new glint, others may respond with fear, drug and alcohol abuse, affairs, or abandonment. This session explores a “Father’s Catch-22”: the expectation that a dad will love his family by being away from the love of his family, thus leaving him lonely.
Often, neither schools nor families prepare young men for the conflicting responsibilities of fatherhood. The presenter described the concept of “father warriors” by examining how schools and families can better prepare young men for a transition in purpose so they can become respected “fathers of tomorrow.” The session also explored public policy changes that could deepen father-child bonds.
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