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The home of father-friendly news, thoughts and creative insights into the Year of the Dad, from our team and an array of guest bloggers. Let us know what you think – and if you’ve got an idea for a blog post you’d like to write for us, get in touch!


Year of the Dad - thank you & keep it up!

YOTDreviewfrontpage.jpgIt's been 12 months of celebration, collaboration and change for families and organisations across Scotland. NICK THORPE looks at what Year of the Dad achieved – and what we might hope for in 2017 and beyond.

WHAT was your best Year of the Dad moment?

My personal favourite was watching school children proudly premiere their own Song for Dad at the Edinburgh Zoo launch, applauded by hundreds of guests from organisations and families across Scotland. It set the tone for the year, and showed that celebrating the difference a great dad can make is ultimately about improving our children’s lives.

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Parenting: a manly pursuit

man-up-large.pngDespite some progress, research shows the idea of men as carers has yet to be fully embraced by employers, society or men themselves. Why? Author and journalist REBECCA ASHER believes we must start with the way we bring up our boys.

FATHERS’ day-to-day, positive involvement in family life really matters. It is good for children, mothers, fathers and wider society.

There’s substantial and ever-growing research evidence to show that fathers’ active involvement supports children’s social, emotional and educational development, strengthens couple relationships and opens up work options for mothers. The rest of society also benefits from greater numbers of parents in the workforce and from more progressive and nurturing roles for dads.

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Unfathered: my journey towards forgiveness

Shutterstock imageIn different ways, DAVID HILL was let down by two fathers. In the Year of the Dad he writes frankly about the hardship and healing he has found in becoming a better father himself.

I VIVIDLY remember a moment in my childhood when my father came to visit the house where I lived with my stepfather and my mother. 

My father was a musician and not particularly wealthy; my stepfather was a pretty successful writer and we lived in a sizeable house. I was coming down the stairs and was suddenly gripped with an internal paralysis: how was I supposed to deal with this situation?

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Dads in Ads - time for a new narrative?

The way dads are portrayed in the media can affect what we expect from them in real life - whether that's a strong & loving carer or an amiable buffoon. Here PROFESSOR DAVID MARSHALL reflects on the changing depiction of fathers in modern advertising, and picks out some personal favourites.

The media, and advertising in particular, has an important role to play in the way we think about fatherhood.  As we allude to in the Year of the Dad video (above), fathers have featured in a number of recent marketing campaigns, but it seems advertisers are yet to catch up with what it means to be a modern dad.

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How I lost custody but stayed connected to my kids

Family_breakdown.jpgWhen TREVOR MACDONALD’S wife left with his three young daughters he thought his world had ended. But he avoided bitterness, stayed involved, and a generation later, offers hope and support to other non-resident dads. 

ALL of us enter into a marriage, or long term relationship, thinking, or hoping, it will last forever. This is particularly the case when children come along. All you want to do is cherish that wee bundle of joy and be there always to protect, teach and lead your pride and joy through life’s experiences. 

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Now for the Dad Olympics!

BabyOlympics.jpgAfter the recent display of skill and talent in Rio, new dad MARK IRVINE encourages fathers to bring the same training & dedication to building parenting skills - with a little help from Year of the Dad & Dads2b...  

HOW much of yourself do you have to give to attain the level of greatness we saw in this summer's Olympics? How do you learn your chosen sport?

You educate yourself and train as hard as you possibly can. Surely that is the key to achieving anything: education and practice. It's how I Learned the trade which earns my living; how I learned to play music when I was at high school.

So how can this be translated in to the biggest challenge of them all - caring for and raising a little mini-me? For me, that's where Year Of The Dad and Dads2b came in handy...

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Dads2b Changed My Life!

Douglas with two of his sonsYear of the Dad co-founder DOUGLAS GUEST recalls the empowering experience of attending a ground-breaking ante-natal course for men - and how it made him a better father.

I FIRST saw the Dads2b poster on a visit to the maternity ward with my wife whilst she was heavily pregnant with our first son. My wife encouraged me to attend – and by the first session she had enlisted two other dads from her antenatal group of mums2b so we car-pooled each week.

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Being Dad - new theatre collaboration

BeingDad.jpg Looking for a great show to see during the festival? Look no further! Fathers Network Scotland's head of programmes DAVE DEVENNEY has news of a great collaboration for Year of the Dad...

BEING A DAD is a drama reflecting the lived experiences, hopes, fears and challenges faced by many fathers, especially disadvantaged young fathers, in Scotland today. Challenges that can be (and are) overcome with courage, knowledge and support.

Written by Edinburgh-based playwright Duncan Kidd and performed by Strangetown Theatre Company as part of the Just Festival, this brand-new collaboration for Year of the Dad celebrates the difference a great dad can make to children, families and society as a whole. 

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Fathers Network Scotland founder dies

David DrysdaleWE are deeply saddened to announce that David Drysdale, the much-loved social entrepreneur who founded Fathers Network Scotland and Year of the Dad, has died, aged 50.

The father of two children - including a baby girl conceived only weeks before he was paralysed by a rare form of cancer – David was a popular and widely-respected campaigner, with a particular passion for men’s personal development and the role of dads in families. 

Diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma in March 2015, he underwent many months of chemotherapy which seemed to leave him clear of the initial tumour by early 2016, when he helped to launch Scotland’s Year of the Dad with the Scottish Government and dozens of partner organisations, “celebrating the difference a great dad can make”.

However, a new scan later showed the disease had spread to his lung, where chemotherapy subsequently proved unsuccessful. He passed away peacefully at Marie Curie Hospice, Edinburgh, late last night on 4thJuly... Read more on FNS website


How Dads Can Make Reading Rock

SuePalmer.jpgIn Year of the Dad, SUE PALMER, literacy specialist and author of Toxic Childhood, salutes dads who inspire their children’s reading - and invites more to join them in this rewarding and nurturing activity. 

WHEN I researched dads’ role in parenting for my book Toxic Childhood, it was clear that effective fathers engage in many fun activities with their children – joking, teasing, tickling, rough-and-tumble play, outdoor stuff like football and camping.

But strangely, when I do talks on literacy for parents, my audiences are around 95% female. Learning to read and write is definitely important - there’s no doubt it’s fundamental to educational success. But a barrel of laughs? Seemingly not for some dads.

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