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What’s wrong with a father concerned about his daughter’s virginity? 

Rapper T.I has been in the news recently for comments involving his 18-year-old daughter, Deyjah Harris.

T.I, aged 39 and born Clifford Joseph Harris, has been a rapper and actor for decades, cementing his position as a R&B superstar in the early 2000’s.

The scandal gained traction in early November after T.I was a guest on the podcast  Ladies Like Us with Nazanin and Nadia for their episode titled ‘Life Hacks’.

In the episode, T.I discusses his daughter and how every birthday he takes her to the gynaecologist to check if her hymen is intact. Throughout the podcast hosts Nazanin Mandi and Nadia Moham laugh as T.I describes his obsession with Deyjah’s virginity.

The hymen is a thin membrane that covers the opening of the vagina, with the tearing of the hymen typically associated with the loss of virginity. In reality there are many ways a hymen can break that has nothing to do with sex (such as horse riding and tampon use).

“Look, doc, she don’t ride no horses, she don’t ride no bike, she don’t play no sports, man. Just check the hymen please and give me back my results, expeditiously” said T.I. in the now infamous interview.

Since the worldwide discussion of her virginity, Deyjah Harris has deleted all her social media, including her Instagram @princess_of_da_south that boasts a following of 1.5 million.

T.I’s daughter rose to fame through his family’s long time running reality television program T.I & Tiny: Family Hustle that followed the rapper and his family’s life after T.I’s prison sentence ended.

T.I’s comments sparked worldwide discussion over the construct of virginity, which is the idea that virginity is a construct created by society and the patriarchy, with patriarchal ideals as the foundation. The construct placing a large focus on commoditising women’s bodies and women losing their purity after sex.

T.I’s comments are problematic for multiple reasons, one of the most unsettling being how the rapper seems to believe he owns his daughter’s virginity.

This is still a common practice, with the concept of virginity stemmed in the idea that women’s bodies are not their own, they belong to their fathers and then are passed to their husbands.

The loss of virginity has also always been associated with heterosexual sex, with the loss of virginity for members of the LGBTI community having always been blurry.

As a society, sex, sexuality and virginity need to be discussed openly and regularly with young people. It is a pivotal part of a child’s growth and teaching children how to respect sexual partners and how to understand consent from an early age is crucial.

In Australia our sex education is heterosexual orientated and starts when children are aged 11 or 12 (depending on the state). The Victorian Government’s health advice and services focused website, Better Channel health offers advice for parents of young children for discussing sex and sexuality.

Parents should aim to be approachable to their children so they don’t seek sex education from other sources, such as their peers or the internet, states Better Channel Health.

In the Netherlands children as young as four are taught about sexuality, a sexual education program that is recognised worldwide.

The Netherlands has some of the best results of sex education, low teen pregnancy rates, high rates of contraception use and high rates of young people losing their virginity in a safe, fun and wanted way.

The T.I scandal raises many issues that in society we seem scared to raise and discuss, is it that over- protective fathers are a symptom of the patriarchy, or some would argue is this just feminism gone too far.

The Resilience Project holds speaking events and is a curriculum that is aimed at using gratitude, empathy and mindfulness to fight mental illness, with the program implemented in hundreds of schools Australia wide.

“If this book wasn’t written, my sister and I would have never actually sat down and had a conversation about our relationship,” says Hugh Van Cuylenburg, creator of The Resilience Project.

At three years of age, Georgia Van Cuylenburg had been playing alongside her brother, Hugh, when a man picked her up, took her out of sight, and sexually assaulted her.
Her innocence of childhood taken in one fell swoop, and a wound that bleed into many facets of her life for decades, was brought to life. This trauma explaining why the darkness of anorexia had chosen her as it’s host, stripping her down to skin and bones.
“I remembered it happening and when my sister told us as a family I went ‘oh right really’ I didn’t even say I remembered it, she continued to feel alone through that trauma, we never talked about it,” says her brother, Hugh.
Hugh was inspired to create The Resilience Project and write The Resilience Project: Finding happiness through gratitude empathy & mindfulness.   
During his time researching his book, Hugh read a lot about vulnerability and shame. “Shame is what locks us up, and really makes it hard for us to be happy and feel well.”
“My shame lied in my relationship with my sister,” said Hugh.
As Hugh showed his family the first copies of his book, he eagerly awaited their opinions and critiques. Georgia was devastated at what her brother had written about her. “She said, ‘when am I going to get that vulnerable side of you?.'”

For Hugh, his book became much more than helping millions of Australians who struggle with mental illness, it became a tool for healing his broken relationship with his sister, a shame he had carried for many years.

Hugh changed his book last minute and worked on his relationship with his sister, deciding that his novel was to focus on human connection and the people that have moved him.
Today mental illness has become an epidemic, taking our youth one by one – an insidious disease that has crept into our society and been given the freedom to flourish, due to stigma, lack of resources and communication. Even today mental illness is not treated the same way that other life threatening illnesses are.
Mental illness is very common in Australia, with one in five Australians experiencing mental illness in a year, meaning that 20 per cent of the population is battling a disease that their family, partner and employer cannot see and might not even believe.

Further statistics show indicates that 45 per cent of Australians will experience a mental illness at some stage in their life.

In 2008, educator Hugh had been teaching young teens in Melbourne when his then girlfriend asked him to accompany her on a trip to India. In India, Hugh taught at an under-privileged school in the Himalayan desert area and with approximately 150 children enrolled, his job was to teach English.
As he began to know his students better, many of whom were living in extreme poverty, Hugh became inspired by his student’s happiness, gratitude and lack of mental health issues that had become so prevalent in the Australian schools where Hugh taught. Returning to Australia, Hugh took with him the local children’s insights, practices and wisdom, and he slowly created The Resilience Project.
The Resilience Project began as a talk that outlined Hugh’s research and experiences with mental illness. Today, it is a school program and curriculum that reaches schools, sporting clubs and workplaces all over Australia and now New Zealand.
In The Resilience Project curriculum and speaking events, Hugh explains how incorporating gratitude, empathy and mindfulness (shortened to GEM in his book) can prevent mental illness and provide happiness.
As many parents know, the most influential years of a person’s life is their childhood,with studies showing that 50 per cent of all mental health conditions a person experiences in their life will have started by age 14.

During his time in India, Hugh noticed how the children were very grateful to be at school and practiced mindfulness every morning before their classes began, incorporating all this into his program for schools and youth, with the feedback having been phenomenally positive so far.
After years of implementing this program, Hugh wrote The Resilience Project: Finding happiness through gratitude empathy & mindfulness,releasing the book in November 2019.
Since the book’s release Hugh has had an influx of positive feedback, and is still as humble as ever; with a warm energy and healing nature, it is easy to see why thousands flock to hear him speak and line up afterwards, telling Hugh their troubles and how his words have helped them to heal.
“We have had incredible feedback, I just saw this morning that it is Number One on audio books, which I can’t believe.”
“I’ve had a few really beautiful personal messages from people.”
Hugh recalls one recent message he’d received from a reader who had been feeling suicidal and after reading the book felt so grateful and positive about his life, telling Hugh how his words had saved his life.

“Honestly if he is the only person that reads this book and that’s the only feedback I get, that’s a worthwhile six months writing,” Hugh says.

On a mission to promote gratitude, empathy and mindfulness, Hugh tackles the tricky topic of social media and parenting in his book, describing the rise of social media as only showing ‘the greatest hits’ of life, and how damaging this can be for young minds.
The Resilience Project: Finding happiness through gratitude empathy & mindfulness includes a lot of tips and ideas for parents, who have found themselves with children inundated with technology and social media that teaches them validation is found through a screen.

“The best way to help your kids is to start modelling better behaviour, you can’t say to your kids ‘stop being on your phone all the time’ then turn around and check your emails,” he says.

The book is full of strategies to help parents put their phone down with one of the easiest to grasp, yet hardest to implement, simply being to leave their phone at home.
Hugh states that this simple task can leave us more focused on others around us, increasing feelings of connection and togetherness, which are two big ways to fight loneliness and mental illness in this increasingly busy and digital world.
Hugh believes that the less a child is on a device the more aware they are to their surroundings and community, leaving more time to be grateful for the society we are lucky enough to have in Australia.
As for fostering GEM into daily life, Hugh says it’s all down to practice and implementing these small practises into your families every day.
For mindfulness, Hugh suggests going for a walk around the block and focusing on what you can hear, an exercise parents can easily make into family time. Hugh also suggests at the dinner table to reflect on the good in each family member’s day and to share what they are grateful for and looking forward to.
“Look out for opportunities to be kind to people, you watch how happy that makes you and if you do it in front of your kids, that’s the most powerful thing of all,” says Hugh.
“You will have an enormous impact on them because they’ll start to copy you, they will start to be someone who is kind to other people.”

Spiritual teacher, healer and medium, Oscar de Souza, shares why we need to acknowledge and nurture our emotions.

Experiencing emotions is our soul’s purpose, according to spiritual mentor and medium, Oscar de Souza. Honouring our emotions can also help us maintain positive relationships and manifest our desires.

We arrive here alone with nothing, and we leave alone with nothing, except the emotions we acquire, says Oscar de Souza, speaking from the Spirit Energy Centre on NSW’s Central Coast.

Acknowledging our emotions prevents us from offloading them onto others, especially our children and partners, and subsequently them rippling through society

Most excitingly, working with our emotions, rather than ignoring them, helps us manifest what we truly desire.

Despite the importance of valuing our emotions, Western society teaches us to disregard them, and worse, to feel ashamed for having them, which is not something we want to be infiltrating to our children.

The best way we can become attuned to our emotions is to observe ourselves, says Oscar. [Meditation is a great way to develop this skill.]

He says we need to be observant of the emotion that’s resonating within us, rather than being subjected to it controlling us, dominating us, and enticing us to act out.

Oscar’s been told by his guides, “Emotions are variable frequencies of energy operating simultaneously”, which is why some people can feel various emotions at the same time.

Oscar says, “The simplest form to expand the neurological system of the conscious brain to be able to harness, access and be attentive to the energy that resonates within us that’s constantly, forever fluctuating, is to first observe our mind, observe ourselves and not be puppets on a string.”

If we acknowledge our emotions, even understand why we feel that way, and to honour them, we are less likely to be puppeted by them and lash out at others. Unfortunately, those we love are often the first to be hit by our emotional releases.

“Instead of articulating what we’re feeling, we’re often being controlled by what they’re feeling”

Oscar explains a typical household scenario:

“The husband (or wife) comes home stressed. They’re going to be communicating on that level of emotion. We’re not usually observant and noticing these emotions inside. We don’t decide to calm them down or be attentive to them, so we don’t impose them on our children or each other (we don’t impose them consciously, we don’t even know they’re doing it).

“We get home, our own fuse is already at the end of its tether. Perhaps we’ve been treated badly at work, there’s traffic, bills, expenses, and then we have to clean, cook, wash up … it’s all putting you on edge.

“It’s then easy to turn around to your child and say, ‘Turn off that machine!’ or ‘Get off that computer!’

“Now, that child foremostly heard “Bang!”.

“Secondly, the words that were spoken.

“Months later our child speaks to us that way and we wonder why.

“We have just been puppeted by our emotions. We are all guilty of that.

“Everyone gets puppeted, and the problem is we indirectly, and even innocently, jab that pain and stress that we’re feeling onto the other person.

“So, it becomes a virus because that person jabs another person with it and it just swims through society.”

The more we understand our emotions, we’re less likely to be subjugated by them, and will be able to articulate in language by talking about them.

“People don’t want to say to their partner they’re feeling a bit insecure and feel like their energy is no longer connected to them,” Oscar says.

“Rather than asking questions based on this, such as ‘Do you want to do more things in life without me?’ we tend to brew, be fearful, and then start to fish … ‘What did you do today? Who were you with?’ or even go through their phone, which just makes people feel violated.

“Emotions people have shouldn’t control their dialect or behaviour, but moreso be a language to the brain to go this is what’s resonating, let’s attend to it.”

Oscar says it’s even worse for men as they have been conditioned to not feel or show their emotions, “don’t cry, suck it up”. “Poor men innocently have been trapped into a void that is not natural,” he says.

“And women, being intuitive, are hit with a brick wall when they try to broach this. They feel a storm inside, they feel fear, they feel confusion.

“The man’s like, I don’t know what you’re talking about, and it takes a while for them to process.”

Oscar says the consciousness of femininity and the consciousness of masculinity is the concept of Yin and Yang. We all have that in us, whether we are male or female.

Some are slightly off balance, some have more of either.

“Men need to start being more intuitive, talking about their emotions, listening to their inner self, not being just driven by the mind.”

“I can’t say that women now need to start applying the male consciousness because unfortunately 2000 years of male dominance, a patriarchal system, means women have already had to assimilate the masculine consciousness within themselves. But men are yet to assimilate the feminine consciousness within themselves.”

Not only can honouring our emotions be great in maintaining more harmonious relationships and averting the ‘virus’ of offloading onto others, they can help us manifest what we want in our lives.

The effect of our emotions was explored through the water experiments conducted by Japanese author and pseudoscientist, Masuru Emoto, whose work demonstrated how the sentiment of a word, which is energy, can affect the molecular structure of water. Keeping in mind we’re made up of about 78 per cent of water, words said to us can impact us strongly.

“If our thoughts (sentiments) on a piece of paper affects water, imagine we have that thought going over and over in our brain, ‘I’m not good enough, I’m not good enough. Life is shit. Life is shit,’” says Oscar.

People are not only putting that energy back into their whole water aspect and altering the energy there, they’re emitting it into the future, so naturally start to have those experiences; and it’s a vicious cycle.

When we realise the energy that resonates within us, the energy we’re emitting, the thoughts that carry it, we can stop causing that ripple effect.

Affirmations, prayer, spells, incantations, are effective when we feel the word, when we mean it and we say it with sentiment, says Oscar.

If we’re panicking on the inside and reading this word, then fear becomes the dominant emotion.

“The key is, when we do feel afraid, we comfort ourselves, ‘It’s ok, I’m afraid,’ that’s ok,” he says.

“Once we acknowledge it, we can move from there but when we’re fighting against it that it’s not going anywhere, so it helps to acknowledge the fear and where it came from. What experiences have led me to have this fear?

“When we know what caused this, ok it’s failed relationships that make us afraid of falling in love again, for example, it’s not so dominant in our psychology or our energy.”

Oscar advises writing down an affirmation in our own handwriting because our brain will absorb it much better.

We should then read it out aloud at least 20 times with no intention just to read it out so that the wording becomes familiar to the brain, so you know what you’re using.

And then our focus can be feeling each word.

For example, when someone says, “I love you,” it feels different when they really mean it. Quite often we want others to say it, but we rarely look in the mirror and say it to ourselves, it’s quite confrontational. And it’s the most important thing.

Everyday, the kids walked barefoot amongst the broken glass and shrapnel covering the garbage dump where they lived, until one man intervened.

Rick gritted his teeth as the doctor began to lance his toes apart, one by one.

That old farmer on the side of the road had warned him. He’d taken one look at Rick’s bare feet crisping up in the summer sun and said, “Boy, I don’t let my donkey get out on the road in this heat ‘cause it’ll cripple him. I guess that makes you dumber than a jackass.”

It was Day One of ‘The Walk’. Rick was 32 miles in, with 308 miles left to go.

He managed a second glance at his feet, torn to shreds by the sun-scorched earth on which he had spent the last thirteen hours walking barefoot. It was the kind of burnt tarmac that would melt your thongs if you stood on it too long. Not only had his toes fused together, but his feet were all shades of red and blistered.

The worn-out preacher closed his eyes and sat back to let the doctor finish his work, thinking again about the promise he had made…

“Hey mister,” had come a small voice in Spanish, and a hand pulling on his sleeve. “Can I swap my toy for a pair of shoes?”

The source of the voice, a little boy maybe seven or eight years old, was barefoot amongst the broken glass and scraps of rusted tin that blanketed the garbage dump where they stood.

It was Christmas Day, and Rick and his elves had driven overnight with a carload of toys to reach the northern slums of Mexico. Following a vulture rather than a bright star, they had stumbled upon a dump filled with mountains of garbage that at first glance seemed to move.

But as they got closer, they realised the moving parts were actually people, dozens if not hundreds of ‘garbage pickers’ – men, women and children who rummaged through the trash for something to eat, wear or sell.

The boy stared intently up at him, a shiny green toy truck clutched in his outstretched hands, and at first Rick was surprised – why would any child give up a toy for some shoes? Especially at Christmas! But as he caught a glimpse of the boy’s feet, it made a lot of sense – cut to pieces by the unforgiving terrain, his little feet were bleeding, blistered, swollen and red.

But there had been no shoes left to give him, no money either. So with a broken heart, Rick gave him the only thing he could, “I give you my word – I’ll come back this summer and I’ll bring you some shoes.”

As a high school teacher and a minister, he and his wife could put together the money to buy those shoes, he thought. But fortune seemed to smile on him just a couple of short weeks later as he drove up to a church where he was booked to speak.

“There were so many Jaguars in the parking lot, you could have filmed a Tarzan movie,” Rick recalls. 

Wealthy though they were, the congregation was unmoved by his request for funding – just a few pairs of shoes for the boy and his family.

Finally he managed to convince them to sponsor him 10 pairs of shoes for every mile he walked across his home state of Alabama. There was just one catch – he’d have to do it without any shoes on.

That summer, on the 4th of July, Rick began what he calls his “pilgrimage of a promise” – 547km from east to west, the equivalent of walking across the entire state of Victoria, and he was going to walk it barefoot in the middle of summer, just like his friend down in the dumps in Mexico.

“I zigzagged here and there across the blazing hot ground and I remember burning my feet up, thinking what a dumb idea this is.” He laughs. “This was a dumb idea.”

It was at the end of that first day when Rick had to get his doctor to lance his toes apart after they had welded together in the scorching summer heat. They looked every bit as cut up as the feet of his little Mexican friend.

The next morning, Rick awoke to a nation stirred by the amazing story of a preacher walking barefoot across his home state. The story had been picked up by CNN, ESPN, ABC, NBC – pretty much every major news station in the country.

“My goal was to get 3,400 pairs of shoes for 340 miles,” Rick said. “I ended up that year with 60,000 pairs of shoes, and we went back to Mexico.”

After finding “the little rascal” and his family, they gave shoes to every person in that garbage dump, young and old.

Later, Rick’s organisation bought the dump and converted it into an orphanage, which has since been voted the top orphanage in Mexico.

Since that first year, Rick – often accompanied by his beautiful wife, Kim, and now with his shoes on – has diligently walked across one state every year, sometimes more than one if they’re small enough.

With the help of charitable organisations like Soles4Souls and Roma Boots, they have raised over one million pairs of shoes in the last three decades, and the 60-year-old preacher isn’t stopping anytime soon.

“There’s still one more kid that needs a pair of shoes. There’s still one more mother crying because she can’t put shoes on her children’s feet.”

This year he will walk across his 39th and 40th US states.

“I always ask people, how far will you go to keep your word? So far I’ve walked roughly 25,000 kilometres to keep mine.”

For reference, that’s like walking the entire coastline of Australia almost twice! However, as Rick likes to tell people, you don’t need to walk across the country or even the state to make a difference in your community.

“Just take a step and see where it takes you. You may take a step across the lunchroom and sit down next to the new kid at school. You may take a step at work and talk to somebody that you can tell is going through a tough time.”

He and his wife Kim instil this philosophy of compassion-in-action in their four children, RC, Winchester, Elliot and Dreamer, who regularly join them on the walk as well as their biannual trip to Mexico.

Rick encourages people to keep their donations local, to give to those that are doing good in their own backyard. However, if you would like to learn more about the ‘The Walk’ or make a contribution to their amazing work, you can do so here or on their website.

Women have always been pioneers in the gender equality debate… until now. Parent change rooms are legally open to any caregiver of a young child, regardless of sex. Now, fathers like Ben find themselves on the receiving end of parental discrimination.

Men across Australia have begun expressing a sense of fear and unwelcomeness as a result of incidents of discrimination against fathers in parent change rooms.

Awareness of the issue gained public knowledge after a Queensland father recounted his experience on a Sunshine Coast-based Facebook page which cannot be named.

“She said ‘It’s only for mothers in here! Get out of here, you sicko!’ and said she would call security and say I was staring at her naked kids if I didn’t leave the room”, the father said.

Men have taken to social media to communicate their disaffection with the continuing problem.

“I’ve had security called on me for taking my daughter into a parents’ room to change her nappy. Security basically told her to pull her head in as I was clearly changing a baby.” – Ben

“A lady asked me why I couldn’t be changing my son’s nappy in the men’s restrooms. My response to her was that I would if she went and fed her baby in the women’s restrooms.” – Mark

“My hubby’s been given death stares while in the parent’s room changing our daughters’ nappies with me. He changes nappies at home and wherever they need to be changed. He’ll change them in the parents’ room too…” – Sandra

“Dads, granddads, uncles … any caregiver who is looking after a child and needs to take care of a child and use those facilities that are offered in a public setting have access to these types of facilities”, says William Barsby, Shine Lawyers discrimination law expert.

An immense amount of support for fathers and male caregivers has surfaced in light of these events. Dads need support just as much as mums do and excluding fathers from parent change room, which are intended for use by a caregiver of any sex, is against anti-discrimination law.

Is being a mum the hardest job in the world? Stay-at-home dads are starting to say no!

The stay-at-home dads are rising: statistics from the census data show a 38 per cent increase in the number of full-time fathers between 2006 and 2018, increasing from 57 000 to 80 000. This now accounts for 4.6% of couple families with children.

Institute Director Anne Hollonds tells the ABC, These stay-at-home fathers are a diverse group including dads with ill-health, a disability or who are out of work, as well as those choosing to stay home to care for children.” She adds, “Compared to mothers at home, stay-at-home dads tend to be older, with older children.”

But are these numbers enough to change traditional family roles?

Compared to the 80 000 unconventional fathers, there are still 298 900 stay-at-home mothers. Things are changing – but only at a snail’s pace.

Dr Jennifer Baxter, a senior research fellow at the Institute, notes that, “We still do have very strong gender stereotypes around caring that no doubt do make it difficult for some dads.” When considering the, “enjoyment and status and stimulation from work,” both women and males receive, she continues, “…we don’t necessarily expect to see massive increases in dads taking a really long time out of work to care for children.”

The stereotype of men being the main breadwinners is accompanied by financial obstacles such as the 23 per cent gender pay gap, as well as an increase in families where both parents work. 

Many just aren’t in a position to change the status quo.

Professor Rae Cooper, co-director of the Women, Work and Leadership Research Group, acknowledges in the same interview that, …unfortunately, things are still moving very, very slowly and are not catching up with our attitudes and our hopes and dreams about what we can access at work.”

Dr Baxter turns to the promotion of employment policies for long-term change. She explains these could reduce working hours for fathers and provide greater flexibility. Optimistically, these could one day see a shared role in caregiving and the true rise of the stay-at-home dads.

They say that identifying a leader should be easy. Team members just know. Leadership assessments at the office got me thinking it’s clear who the leader is at home…and it’s certainly not me.

I recently participated in a leadership assessment process at work. This involved a self-assessment of how I perceive myself as a leader, and obtaining 360 degree feedback from my boss, peers and staff on my leadership style. It certainly got me doing some self analysis, and in particular thinking about how the results applied to my other role in life – parenthood – and how I would go if a similar assessment was performed on how I’m going.

What makes an effective leader is a difficult concept to put your finger on exactly, but one thing that most team members would say is that it should be very clear who the leader, or the leadership team, is. The leader in our house is certainly clear, but the leadership team beyond her can be a bit murky. Obviously I see myself as the deputy, ready to step up in her absence, but try telling that to two toddlers. Consider the situation when Ella is trying to get Sebastian to do something he doesn’t want to do.

“You’re not the boss,” I tell her firmly. “I know,” she says, “I’m only the second boss after Mummy”.  This type of exchange gives me valuable feedback on how my attempted leadership is perceived.

 

The leader in our house is certainly clear, but the leadership team beyond her can be a bit murky.

This is further exemplified by a situation that may arise where I’ve been struggling with getting the kids to start or stop something. Tempers are fraying (me), tears are rolling (them, with mine being held back), Timeout has been used to no effect and it’s all going completely pear-shaped. Until, that is, The Omnipotent One walks into the room. All she has to do is imperceptibly raise an eyebrow ever so slightly, and they jump to attention. If she isn’t around, the situation is likely to end up with me getting angry, and then being told by a two year old to go straight to Timeout for swearing.

This respect doesn’t just happen, it’s earned. An effective leader will use their positional power to put some fear into the eyes of their disciples to get them to perform. Sometimes it’s just the threat of me “telling mummy” that can prove effective.

Sometimes it’s just the threat of me “telling mummy” that can prove effective.

But effective leadership requires a balance of competencies, not just Hard Taskmaster.  And this was demonstrated to me in my leadership assessment where some of the competencies around Relating, Caring and Authenticity indicated I had room for improvement.

Take the situation where one of the kids is crying for what appears to me to be over nothing. My initial reaction is to tell them to stop crying for no reason; which generally makes it worse. Learning to take a minute to assess the situation, and decide whether they need emotional support rather than an Earful, has been a hard one to master. Flying off the cuff is a child-like response, while our adult brains should be sufficiently developed enough to assist our children with identifying what the problem is and how it’s making them feel, which then turns off the tears anyway.

The inspirational aspect of leadership though, is one where I feel I may be marked quite well on. It’s important that a leader sets a good example to their team and empowers them to have the confidence to deliver results. I believe Sebastian’s ultra-smooth transition to being toilet trained is solely down to the example I’ve set him by my own actions: proudly announce your intentions to the rest of the house, grab some reading material, enjoy the process, and then hold a feedback session afterwards on how it went.

So I have a feeling that my parental leadership is okay, with some areas for improvement. But to add some factual credence to this, I’ll be issuing my wife and kids with 360 degree feedback survey forms tonight. Armed with this information, who knows, I may even be promoted to second boss soon.

 

It’s important that a leader sets a good example to their team and empowers them to have the confidence to deliver results.

The inspirational aspect of leadership though, is one where I feel I may be marked quite well on. It’s important that a leader sets a good example to their team and empowers them to have the confidence to deliver results. I believe Sebastian’s ultra-smooth transition to being toilet trained is solely down to the example I’ve set him by my own actions: proudly announce your intentions to the rest of the house, grab some reading material, enjoy the process, and then hold a feedback session afterwards on how it went.

So I have a feeling that my parental leadership is okay, with some areas for improvement. But to add some factual credence to this, I’ll be issuing my wife and kids with 360 degree feedback survey forms tonight. Armed with this information, who knows, I may even be promoted to second boss soon.