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  • Ela Senghera

Dad, Keep it Together

Dad and Daughter sitting in the sand in front of the sea

Who is a dad?

Many will agree that a dad is someone who is a protector, a provider, a friend, and the biggest hero. Dad is also a role model and a teacher. All dads play an irreplaceable role in children's lives - they are there to protect, provide for, teach, model values, play with, discipline, and share their wisdom. Their bond with their kids shapes a child and prepares them for an adult life. Gives them strength and resilience. Yet in today's world dads work increasingly longer hours and are less available for their children…Their presence and their well-being have never been more important - for the sake of everyone in the family and society.

The role of a father, as we adults see it, is seen very differently through the eyes of a child. Below is a snapshot that shows a child's perspective ...

My dad is the best… but he has been so busy lately. He has so much to do…His job, the house, and driving me and my sister everywhere, he never has time to rest. He looks really tired and his eyes look sad… I don't like to see him like this. He is always rushing around to get stuff done. I don't like to see him like this… The other day we spoke about mental health at school. The teacher said: ''What does mental health mean to you?'' and I just thought of my dad…I thought, I just want my dad to be happy again. I want him to play with me and laugh together…Because I only have one dad...I miss playing catch in the yard and doing trips together. We never have time to talk... I miss hanging out with him, especially during the week, when so much is happening at school and I want to share it with him....

The teacher asked us: ''How can we help someone if they are feeling anxious or sad?'' and I said: ''We can spend time with them!'' Dad, please can we spend 15 min together each evening…reading stories or chatting? …We don't need to plan anything big! I'd just love chatting and joking around together. Sometimes I worry about you and I know your work is important, but my nana says ''Health is everything…''

Dad and Child enjoying the rain while wearing yellow raincoat

My favorite things to do with my dad are:

1. Playing football together

2. Hanging out and joking around

3. Playing basketball outside

4. Roasting marshmallows by the fire

5. Going camping and sleeping in the tent

6. Playing games together before going to bed

The things I wish for this Christmas:

1. More time together as a family

2. Good health for my siblings and my parents

3. More fun time with friends

4. A cool trip abroad with mum and dad

5. More smiles and laughter at home

One thing I would like to say to my dad is: ''Dad - you are my hero. I learn from you and I love spending time with you. Please look after yourself. Hanging out with you is the best. I will cheer you up if you get tired or sad. I love you! Dad, keep it together!''

Dear Men - I think it's time we had an honest conversation!

For too long, society has promoted a limiting idea of masculinity - the strong, silent type who shoulders heavy burdens without complaint or self-care. But behind that heavy armor often lies quiet suffering in isolation. It doesn't have to be this way. We have to challenge generations of faulty messaging that vulnerability somehow makes lesser men. You carry enough responsibilities without adding the preventable strain of neglected souls.

Imagine how things could change if we redefined strength - not as hardened invincibility, but embodied wisdom knowing when we need support!? A more well-rounded masculinity that makes room for being both providers and emotionally present fathers and partners. Wow, what a world we would have! Learning to embrace strength of character alongside vulnerability.

This inner work is urgent and very much needed. Too many fathers, brothers, sons, and friends silently suffer from inverted resilience, feeling that they are ''on their own'' and can't ask for help. We have to face the tragic irony that to “be a man” too often means “feel nothing” for too many people.

But the future remains unwritten and we can shape it the way we want to. We inherit the past but we (both men and women) have the power to create our future and parent differently, not as the previous generations did. This is an appeal to men willing to dive deeper not just for self-improvement but to better serve our families, communities, and world.

Choosing to care for our whole human selves could prove revolutionary. What would our men look like and feel like if we just focused more on breaking the stigma around men's mental health and creating connection instead of suffering in isolation? Finding love inside you is a key step for men and women.

If you are keen to make a start on your journey of increased life statisfaction, improved love life, simply listen to our book.

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