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Lessons From Dr. Dad
Parenting Parenting
Lessons From Dr. Dad
June 7, 2018
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Parenting Parenting
Lessons From Dr. Dad
June 7, 2018
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Simone Baret, Managing Editor of bambinifashion.com and and Mum to Eric, 7, reminisces over how her Father’s ability to listen and talk was the most profound impact of all.

My father, aka Dr. Dad, excelled at the art of listening. As a Paediatrician he spent hundreds of thousands of hours hearing patients’ complaints. He listened to the worries of overprotective mothers and observed the feigned symptoms of children who did not want to go to school. He quickly discovered that the “talking cure” is often far more effective than any medication, cough syrup or plaster.

A Meaningful Space

Our deepest desire as human beings is to feel connected to the ones we love and this starts in childhood with the feeling we can really open up to our parents that it is safe to share and express all our fears and dreams, no matter how big or small. It is vital we create a meaningful space to share, listen and build bridges of communication with our children, especially as they grow and meet new milestones.

I was fortunate enough to have a father that wasn’t just physically present, but also emotionally present. He was (and still is) very much attuned to my needs. Though he often worked 70 hour weeks in our small town, he made the time he did have count twice as much with the simple act of listening and taking me to my favourite spots, the pond to feed the ducks or a quick bike ride around the block. I do not remember him buying me expensive gifts or whisking me away to exotic destinations. The pleasures of my childhood were simple, an ice cream on a hot afternoon or a silly face aimed at me from the rear-view mirror to make me crack up with laughter in the backseat of our Cadillac.

Schedule Catchups

After 30+ years of practice, my father still maintains that setting aside regular time to listen to your children and give your full undivided attention is the single most important thing a parent can do. This might mean getting a little more focused about your schedule to ensure each child in your family has sufficient one-to-one time, but the rewards are well worth it. They will help you navigate the next chapter with greater ease.

My father and I breezed through my teens and we continue our close relationship well into my 30s. He is the first person I confide in and I firmly believe this is because he took the time to cultivate a meaningful space between us throughout my childhood. I try to honour this legacy with my son, setting aside time for us to talk.

Switch Off

The next time you feel tempted to reach for the iPad or turn on the TV, try something new. Ask your little one how his or her day was. You may be very surprised by what you hear!

Simone Baret
@lamaisonfolle
Managing Editor at BambiniFashion.com
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