Sunday, March 22, 2009

Two Things Fathers Dying of Lung Cancer Say They Wished They’d Done Differently

Dr. Bruce Robinson, a lung specialist and Professor of Medicine at the University of Western Australia, has authored books for fathers including, Fathering from the Fast Lane. Even though he must live an incredibly busy and taxing life, this man who’s grown accustomed to people dying has heard the following two reasons probably more times than he cares to remember.

1. They wished they had spent more time with their children.

Too sad too late. Tragically, these fathers were cut the short straw and were penalised with termination of the relationship with their children and not simply with a dysfunctional, albeit real, relationship the living father has. At least the father who’s still alive has a chance to discover what he and his kids are missing out on.

2. They say almost universally that work seemed so important, especially when they were young, but they realised with their condition that there were only so many opportunities left to connect with their kids. Work seemed a waste of time compared with the time lost not spent with their kids.

Two insightful quotes from Dr. Robinson’s website:

“I almost view with contempt this notion of quality time. I think it’s just a baby-boomer cop-out. To have quality time you’ve got to have quantity time, because you never know when your kids want to talk to you. You can’t appoint a time for quality chats. I’ve found in my relationship with my children that sometimes just out of the blue they’ll want to talk, whereas at other times they prefer to wait”
–John Howard (former Prime Minister of Australia).

“One big change I made to my life when I realised what it took to be a good father was to work less, and also to work from home more often. Now I only work a four-day week and I run my computing service from home. This is important because my wife works, and really we have to share the parenting time”
–Peter de Blanc.

And finally a quote from the book that sums up:

“Children need to be accepted and supported as individuals regardless of their academic success, physical ability, sporting prowess, personality, moods, morals or beliefs. This acceptance is often difficult for high-achieving fathers.”

Dr. Robinson’s Website:

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