To celebrate Father’s Day, we asked a group of Dads to reflect on the unique wisdom they learnt from their fathers. While we expected to hear valuable life lessons from these men, some of what we heard caught us by surprise. And at times, prompted joyful tears. Join us as we explore the everlasting impact that a Dad’s witty, sage, and emboldening wisdom can have on his children.
“Spending time with your children could be the most important thing you do as a father,” says Murray Garlick, a father of three and grandfather of nine. “You have got to make the most of those early years. If you don’t spend time with them before they go to school, you don’t get the same opportunity again. Everyone says it, but it’s true, they grow up before you realise it.” Murray understands all too well that embracing the change that children create in your life with positivity and energy is key to building relationships that last a lifetime.
With his focus on positive relationship building, Murray would likely chuckle at this nugget of fatherly wisdom: “Believe in yourself as you believed in Santa”. Dad’s across New Zealand have worked tirelessly for generations to instil self-belief in their children. To teach their kids that they already have the tools required to achieve their unique dreams and goals. While your Dad’s life lessons may have been cloaked in wit, such as “Only chickens achieve success sitting down”, the sentiment is consistent. You can do this, and I will be present to remind you of that when life is hard.
Murray and wife Marion went on to practice their commitment to being present with their grandchildren. Their hands were raised for babysitting duties, no matter how exhausting an experience that was. Later in life, “… we’d go and watch their sports, and even the teenagers, the boys, would come (to the side-line) and give us a great big hug and that’s only because we spent time with them, forming that relationship”. Spending regular time with their children and grandchildren was made possible by Murray and Marion’s relocation to central Auckland’s Logan Campbell retirement village. Family members could easily drop by as they went about their busy lives.
Martyn Bradley, another Logan Campbell resident, feels lucky that his own parents modelled an approach to parenting that he emulated with his children. Martyn points out that while time spent with your children is important and rewarding, it is vital to spend time on your relationship with your partner as well. Martyn and wife Dawn are parents of two and grandparents of five. Martyn says, “You need to ensure that the relationship is strong so that you can both deal with the hurly-burly of life, together”.
Dads have plenty of tricks up their sleeves, including creative solutions to safeguard their downtime. This nugget of wisdom is likely to resonate with Martyn, and Dads across New Zealand. Perhaps you heard something similar as a child: “My parents liked to sleep in on Sundays, but they had 4 young kids. So, Dad would tell us that ‘Monsters sleep under the bed until 7 am!’ Suffice to say, we never rose before 7.”
Fellow resident, Max Ogle, remembers a time before the balancing act of personal space and fatherhood began. A time when every moment with his new-born baby was magical. “I couldn’t wait to get to the (Whangarei Hospital) annexe to see the little fellow, and afterwards I drove home on air. I just floated. I remember that feeling as clear today as it was then,” he says with a huge grin.
Max is Dad to four children, grandfather to nine, and great-grandfather to five. Moving to Logan Campbell in Auckland after 65 years in Whangarei has allowed him to stay in touch with all of them. “Since we moved, they pop in all the time and we’ve been able to mix with them so much more.” To celebrate Father’s Day and Dads like Murray, Martyn, and Max, Ryman Healthcare are asking you to share your Dad’s unique brand of wisdom. Friend, joker, bee sting remover, hero. Share the life lessons you inherited from your Dad and be in to win $500*, courtesy of Ryman Healthcare.