A father’s greatest achievement in life is when his son walks (swim) ahead of him - That is day when he considers his job almost done.
Recently the 89th river mile swim was celebrated in Sunday River at Cannonvile near Port Elizabeth. This is Africa’s oldest open water swimming event started in 1924. The sports day starts with an off-road triathlon, then kids under 12 swim leading to the ladies mile swim. All events are swum with the incoming tide.
People participate in this event for different reasons
· Some professional and serious swimmers think swimming with the incoming tide is a race
· Others swim for health reasons, swimming is one way to control diabetes and blood pressure
This fun event is a active time for friends and families to get together and enjoy the day on the riverbanks of the Sunday river in Colchester.
The river mile is also a closure-event for me It signifies the end of a Blood Sugar Control year.
While I train on a regular basis but practicing for an event like this takes more planning. Last year I kept my Blood sugar at higher level to make sure I don’t run-out of energy. BIG mistake! Manipulating glucose levels can be done through a careful controlled eating plan. But that is a post on it own - for now I would like to share with you how this event has strengthen my father-son relationship In the weeks leading up to the river mile event - practicing with my son at 05h00 in the morning has been one of the best ways we connected.
A Father- Son relationship is complex
because the relationship is most of the time not very vocal and even a bit time one-sided at times. A Father- Daughter relationship is sometimes easier because there is gentleness and care
For any relationship to work one need to share and exchange ideas (dreams).
This is where most fathers go wrong:-
Fathers tend to think because they have also been at that age once - they have all the correct answers (instructions) for their sons.
Man! just get over yourself.
The information we have as father are outdated. With internet and other gadgets children are so much more intellectual advance and updated than what we were at their age
· Fathers need to listen to their sons and I mean really listen - without interruptions. You need to know not guess.
· Do NOT dispense advice or instructions while he is sharing - The only time you give advice is when he asked for it.
· Once you know what your son problem is. DO NOT fix it - Rather create a fix which he can use to fix it himself.
· Keep Focusing on the positives. Our children get bombarded with negative messages all around them and you don’t need to add to his sense of inadequacy. Like training dolphin’s; Celebrate their accomplishments and turn your back negative behaviors.
- Dads need to realize they are not as good as they think are. You might be good in your workplace or at a hobby but your father-son relationship are new grounds. There is no operation or workshop manual that comes with your son, he is an individual
· Every father-child-relationship is unique journey and should be treated As such.
· Treated your son with respect and above all respect what he values
· Be open minded – understand the world through your son’s eyes
· Things change - From toddler stage to young man keep things in balance just be sure you keep up with your sons thinking patens.
· Time is precious - value time with your son/daughter. With our daily grins it is a wonder that we ever see each other
Set priorities - make one on one time. Make a way to connect. Find your common activity
· Built a relationship based on trust – At some stage you are not going to live up to your son’s expectations and he is also going to fail you. But if trust is present you know not to sweat the little stuff because it too shall pass.
Fathers should encourage/influence their children to swim ahead and help them take the steps to independents, while keeping them close to the family
Every child needs a Father and every father needs a Child
Ps. What did you do lately to strengthen a relationship?
Send us your suggestion and ideas in the comments section right below this post