Bengaluru, June 17: Father’s Day was celebrated with a select group of participants and invitees here on June 17 (Sunday).
This year Fathers’ Day on June 17 was celebrated across India in a variety of ways. Adrian Stevens and Chris D’Souza, authors of the book ‘Good Fathers to Great Dads’ put together a unique mini workshop to mark the occasion in Bengaluru. The event was designed to bring together Fathers of different age groups to interact with each other and reflect their journeys as Dads, sharing their thoughts and challenges, thus strengthening one another.
The workshop was divided into three parts - an introduction and a foundational insight on the role of Christian fatherhood presented by Adrian Stevens, perceptions and roles of a Dad from a needs perspective, presented by Chris D’Souza, followed by a panel discussion.
Adrian in his presentation stressed on the need for Fathers to have clarity in their roles. He quoting Psalm 82:5, said “They know nothing, they understand nothing. They walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken”.
Adrian highlighted three main causes for the problems of life, viz., There is a lack of knowledge — “they know nothing.”; There is a misunderstanding or misconception of life—“they understand nothing” and cannot comprehend their environment; There is a lack of spiritual sight—“they walk about in darkness”; they see nothing.
Walking in faith and drawing from God’s direction through scripture Dads would be more likely to encounter success.
He also shared an insight from the origins of the word Father namely the Hebrew word Abba and the Greek word Pater which stand for Source, Nourisher, Sustainer, Supporter and Founder. Adrian tried to drive home his point narrating a story of Jonathan. Some other aspects he touched upon included ‘The absent father, Dad’s time alone with baby, Opportunity given to a child to do something for Dad. Expanding some features of the topic, he said, we lack understanding of ourselves, possession without comprehension, assignment without instruction and resources without knowledge.
The Dad’s role was meant to mirror these qualities to a large extent, added Adrian who works as a consultant with various Companies.
The second session by Chris began with an assessment for the Dads, to help them quantify the strength of relationship and involvement with their kids. Chris, a trainer for different Companies, in his presentation, brought out the ways to identify the roles of a dad and how it is essential to understand the needs of the child and then match relevant roles.
The tool, he used, was the ‘Roles Vs. Needs Matrix’’ from the book ‘Good Fathers to Great Dads’. Through this activity the dads identify the critical roles they play and understand how to strengthen them. He also leveraged insights from the Situational Leadership Model to determine how to switch between roles and know when to use directive behaviour and when to use supportive behaviour. Chris also presented his own family situation and at times at a loss to satisfactorily answer his own child’s queries.
The programme concluded with a panel discussion on how to manage conflict with kids and how to use faith as an aid in resolving conflict. The panelists, Fr Paul Pazhangattu, Fr. Antic, Jose Maliakal and Joachim Bhaskar, shared their valuable insights, experiences and fielded questions from the audience.
Fr Paul, Parish Priest, Holy Host Church, here also shared his experience during the family visits. He said he came across parents and Dads in particular, facing problems when children insist on watching TV programmes of their choices. This happens with small children pressuring parents for watching cartoons. However, the teenagers have different problems. They have the pressure from the peer groups. Among several examples, Fr Paul CSsR said the youngsters meddle with their hair styles and some of them keep long hairs against the wishes of the parents. They value more the opinion and impression of their peers rather than anybody else..
Adrian concluded the session by discussing practical ways to take the insights forward. Some of the participants said, overall, it was an eye opening and insightful experience for everyone present. .Among participants who shared their views and experiences included Dominic A P, Jennifer D’Souza, Norton Cunningham and Ninjo Thomas. Jennifer shared how her father taught her the important lesson of integrity among other values.
Traditionally, Fathers’ Day was celebrated to honour St Joseph, the spouse of Mary on March 19 in many parts of the Catholic world. However, in 1972 the US government popularized this celebration on the third Sunday of June. It is believed that President Lyndon Johnson declared the day in honour of Fathers of the modern generation.
Earlier, the programme commenced with a prayer led by Alan who drew from Joshua 1:9, encouraging the Dads present to be courageous, “Fathers Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
To mark the close of the unique celebration, the participants greeted each other especially the Dads before parting and saying goodbye.
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