In the first episode of THE GOOD ENOUGH DAD for 2024 on LiSTNR, Australian parenting guru Maggie Dent speaks with TV Presenter, columnist, cancer survivor, husband, dad, Leukaemia Foundation & RUOK Ambassador Barry Du Bois.
Barry speaks about his marriage (any storm in the future looks like a pee in the pond), how he wouldn’t let anyone touch his twins when they were born (… they tried to take him away from me for a circumcision, and I said, not a chance are you touching this kid with a scalpel), about his own cancer and mortality (there's not a day that goes by that I do not worry about what it's going to be like the day I leave) and how he parents (I've been conscious with both the children, not saying to them too often that I'm proud of them).
- When Barry arrived in Vaucluse as a young man it was so different to his upbringing it felt like another world
6’51 Barry Du Bois: It was actually Vaucluse. And uh, when I arrived in Vaucluse, it was a life changing moment. I, I couldn't believe that people lived like that.
- Barry says his wife Leonie has weathered some incredible storms and their bond is ‘unbreakable’
13’11 Barry Du Bois: So it's a how would I describe our relationship? It's one that's weathered some storms. It's faced adversity of its own, but it's one that now any storm in the future looks like a pee in the pond. I don't think if you've been through what we've been through together that anything could break it.
- When the babies were born he didn’t want anyone to touch them (for circumcision, to doing the scratch-test on their feet, to blowing in their face to get passport photos).
19’17 And they tried to take him away from me for a circumcision. And I said, not a chance. You are touching this kid with a scalpel. Not a chance, you know.
- He has faced mortality so he cherishes his life - but he doesn’t talk to his kids about it because he doesn’t think kids understand the concept of death
23’39 - But I think the difference between myself and you is the is the simple fact that I have faced mortality. So I do cherish life, I cherish it, and I'm very, um, very thankful for every second and very conscious that I need more seconds, particularly with my children. I don't believe children understand mortality.
- More on how his sense of mortality impacts the way he parents:
35’07 Barry Du Bois: I think it's very different for someone who's been told he's got three months to live. And I understand what mortality is. I think most people in the world are blessed with the fact that they're not. And, uh, there's not a day that goes by that I do not worry about what it's going to be like the day I leave. Yeah.
- Barry Du Bois’ no. 1 thing he tries to with his kids might surprise you (he tries not to tell them too often that he’s proud of them)
38’17 One thing I've done, particularly I've been conscious of with both the children, is, not saying to them too often that I'm proud of them.
39’16 I think it was a great tip that was given to me, that you make sure that they don't need praise, they just need to satisfy themselves
- Barry’s advice to dads is to be conscious of when you’re moving between work and family time.
43’52- So what I'm very conscious of doing is before I go from one space to another, whether that's from work to family, family to work, from the dinner table to bed, I just do some breath work. I do some meditation, but I'll always give myself a 3 to 6 minute transition so that I can end that portion.
- The surprising way Barry is present with his kids - Barry gave his kids baby rakes and let them rake the leaves with him, knowing it would be a mess, then went out and re-raked the garden
46’36 I try to do as much as I can with the children, but I don't try and achieve anything with the children. What I mean by that is, Bennet and Arabella had their baby rakes from Bunnings and they just loved raking the leaves with me. But that would just be a disaster. So if I needed to rake the leaves, I'd rake the leaves. But if I want to be with my children, I say let's rake the leaves. And then when they go to sleep, I go out and tidy up the yard.
ICYMI: What Would Maggie Dent Do?
Australia’s parenting sage MAGGIE DENT on surviving the holidays, New Year’s resolutions and going back to work
Maggie Dent is a god-send for parents. Through her books and her new LiSTNR podcast called THE GOOD ENOUGH DAD, she delivers advice that is as compassionate as it is practical.
No matter what she’s talking about – even if it’s your biggest parenting fail – you somehow manage to walk away feeling confident and that everything’s going to be okay, and now she’s released a few HOW Tos that are set to make parents and carers across the country smile.
Here’s Maggie’s guide to surviving the holidays and heading back to work!
The Good Enough Dad’s Guide to Surviving the Holidays
When you’re a kid the Christmas holidays feel like they stretch on forever. When you’re the parent of that kid it can feel the same, but for different reasons. In this episode, Maggie outlines how you can thrive through the holidays with your kids, making memories to last a lifetime.
The Good Enough Dad’s Guide to Re-entering the Rat Race
Heading back to work and kids back to school or day care can involve a bit of adjustment. Maggie gives some practical tips on how you can help the whole family ease back into the rat race of life.
AND in case you missed it, here’s some of the best bits of Maggie’s advice from the first season of The Good Enough Dad, Maggie’s latest podcast with LiSTNR where she interviews a few of the 5.4 million dads* in Australia about their wins, challenges and stuff-ups, proving along the way that being “good enough” is exactly what our kids need:
#1. Hamish Blake: Maggie’s advice - Regular dad dates help build connection (20’55)
#2. Ben Hannant : Maggie’s advice - Teach your girls resilience- they can’t always rely on you (22’26)
#3. David Campbell: Maggie’s advice - When your kids yell at you, it’s a sign that you are their safe person (16’59)
#4. Sean Szeps: Maggie’s advice - All girls need is a loving and connected dad (33’11)
#5. Matt Okine: Maggie’s advice - Discipline is about guiding our kids, punishment engenders fear (7’45)
#6. Tristan MacManus: Maggie’s advice - It’s important to understand that men and women grieve differently, including when it comes to pregnancy loss (12’06)
The Good Enough Dad is on LiSTNR.
Source: *Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2 September 2016
For more information, please contact: Kath Rose on 0416 291 493 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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