Breaking the Cycle

Waking up early

Have you ever had one of those mornings?

You wake up, usually from a lucid dream, feeling a real sense of clarity about something, as though your subconscious had been wrestling with a problem during the night and finally figured it out. In my case I woke up earlier than usual this morning and went through a thought process that I felt I needed to write down.

Last night I had a lengthy talk with my 14-year-old son about a few unresolved issues that have been bothering and frustrating me. My concerns centre around the amount of time he spends playing video games online but the chat also got into things like how he’s doing at school, his general moodiness and lack of cooperation around the house, and how he plans to spend his upcoming summer holidays. Pretty standard stuff for a parent-teenager talk.

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Ain’t no Cure for the Summertime Blues

Busy summer schedule

Okay, I don’t have the blues, just a mild summer cold. But I think one reason that I caught this cold is that I’ve been so busy and stressed out on multiple fronts recently. And one reason, ironically, is that I’m trying very hard to be a good father and role model!

One of the things I’ve been busy with is trying to get the Father Lessons project off the ground over the last month. But I’m finding that this is a difficult time of year for a full-time dad – especially one who struggles with multitasking at the best of times – to be trying to get anything off the ground. Apart from Father Lessons and my regular work, which at least in my case is very flexible, I need to figure out to keep the kids occupied over the 6 weeks or so of summer holidays – a topic big enough for its own blog post, I think.

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My Story (Part 2)

I have a terrible memory for most things. I marvel at friends who can remember every day, date and detail of events from decades ago, when I can barely remember what I did last week. What bothers me in particular is the extent to which I seem to have forgotten about my youth. I have certain episodes that I “remember,” but more in the repeated telling of them than in actual, clear, playback-in-my-head memories. When I meet up with old friends whose memories are more reliable, I find myself being corrected on how things really happened.

So, with that caveat out of the way, here’s how I remember my early teenage years.

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Dad-deprived Boys

Actidad is one of what I am beginning to realise is a large number of websites and podcasts aimed at the crisis of boys growing up without fathers or without good solid male role models.


The latest edition of the Actidad podcast is a very interesting interview with Dr. Warren Farrell about what he calls “the Boy Crisis” and the findings of his decades of research into “Dad-Deprived boys.”

Why the Father-Son Relationship is Important

The Why Factor Podcast

Many thanks to my cousin, James McBennett, who passed on a link to this excellent BBC podcast episode, which captures exactly what Father Lessons is all about. It’s from 2018 but I swear I never heard it before today!

The difference is that I’m planning to do this is as a long series of similar interviews, but hopefully getting to know each individual’s story in a bit more depth.

Why Factor podcast
The Why Factor – Why the Father-Son Relationship is Important