Two “Band of Brothers” seminars were arranged by Matakana School to help fathers get more involved in their sons’ lives, and as a forum for dads to share their issues. One session was for dads and another was for fathers and sons.
A solo mum wanted to attend but was told she couldn’t because her presence would inhibit discussion. She was told a mother and son seminar was planned for later in the year.
“We really just wanted an opportunity for the guys to open up and chat, and they wouldn’t particularly want to do if there were females around – which I think is understandable,” said principal Darrel Goosen.
And what’s wrong with that?
Traditionally fathers have played a lesser hands-on role in their children’s lives than mothers.
It was his role to go out and earn a living, hers to stay home and nurture the family.
That has changed, men take a more active role in parenting, more women work outside the home.
But in many families the mother is still more likely to be more involved in parenting and many men still don’t have much time with their children.
That is a pity for fathers and their children and a school should be commended for trying to address that.
It wasn’t a parent-child bonding session, it was a father-son one.
Solo parents have a very difficult job but a mother isn’t a father.