Бути авторитетом, а не авторитарним: прості поради професійних татусів (ФОТО, Відео)
How important is it for both parents to be involved into the upbringing of their children? We talk about this and other important issues in the third program of the Project «Prove that you love»
We talk about raising children and forming healthy models of relationships together with Andriy Kulykov, the Hromadske Radio journalist; Maxym Bondarenko, the father of four children, coordinator of the network «Caritas Ukrainian Family Support Centers», the first certified trainer of the TATO.net initiative in Ukraine; and Dmytro Telechkoun, the psychologist and coach, counselor for upbringing issues, co-founder of the Parenting Skills Club.
Vasyl Shandro: Let’s start with the memories of your fathers.
Andriy Kulykov: I will start with the fact that I had never called my father «tato» (Ukrainian word for «father»), I called him «papa» (Russian word for «father»). And I think it’s important because my daughter calls me «bat’ko» (Ukrainaian word for «father»). My father, who had not learned Ukrainian until the end of his life, was never against the fact that I had switched to Ukrainian and made it the language of my choice. This is the main thing for me that was present in my father — the respect for my choice.
Maxym Bondarenko: The first two words that come to my mind are the term «Great Absent». In kindergarten, as well as in school, we all measured and compared different sizes, which is typical for boys. One of them was «what does your dad do?» If one told «My dad is a policeman», it was very cool. And I said that my dad was a sailor. I idealized him. In the 80’s he visited exotic countries, caught sharks with bare hands. The price for it was a fact that I saw him only several times in my life. The only plus — we corresponded. No matter how crazy the thoughts I wrote were, he always said that he trusted me and that I should try, if it did not work, it would be already an experience. It was trust with the right to make mistakes. It helped me over the years to accept
and understand him. But the term «Great Absent» has remained.
Dmytro Telechkoun: Probably the brightest feeling is that my parents loved me. We, grown up children, adults who have remained children, have different peak experiences. They are negative and positive. Probably, we learned to deal with negative ones, and when we grow up we have positive, but everything is not so simple.
Vasyl Shandro: Is there a crisis of paternity in Ukraine now? What causes it?
Maxym Bondarenko: In my opinion, it does not exist now, it existed, and now there are certain consequences of that crisis. We can look deeper — the Soviet Union, World War I, World War II. Now there is the next generation of children who should be parents. There is such a joke that «the first 40 years of childhood are the hardest for a man». The biggest crime of the system was that a father was taken away from a family. Some families managed to transmit the connection of generations. But in general, the state replaced a father. We will experience the consequences of this crisis later.
Dmytro Telechkoun: Unfortunately, we have always been prepared for survival. But survival requires other skills, it differs from the creation as it is. If we do not change our approach to children, they will also survive. And who will build? Surviving people can not build, it is very difficult for them to create.
Andriy Kulykov: I think that surviving people can build, because sometimes they need to build in order to survive. As for the crisis of fatherhood, in a society where there was the Father of all peoples, he often replaced a father. There was no real replacement, but there was such an image. Therefore, there was no need for a father in a family, because there was the Father.
Vasyl Shandro: What are the other challenges of nowadays?
Maxym Bondarenko: Migration. Either a father takes responsibility, travels far away, works hard, brings money. And while he is there his family is changing. Or a mother travels far away and a father finds himself in a new environment where he can also express his fatherhood, but not everybody can do this, because their stereotyped masculine pride is trigged. We have not been taught that I can be a full-fledged man, cooking for someone I love, tiding rooms or helping to do home assignment. But this is the best time to study.
Tetyana Troshchynska: Preparing for our talk show we conducted the Facebook poll. 73 people participated in it. 90% said that a father was indispensable in the upbringing of a child. There were 7 people who believed that a father could not take part in the upbringing of the child. People wrote different comments.
Vasyl Shandro: Ukrainian researchers explain the reasons of the paternity crisis in Ukraine
What prevented your fathers from upbringing you and what prevents you from doing this now? A career of a TV presenter or journalist? Other things from earning money to self-realization? Mister Andriy, did you have any problems with that?
Andriy Kulykov: Of course, I did. But there were also many opportunities. It is better to consider every problem as an opportunity. A real sense of responsibility comes when this small creature already exists in the world. Then you start to think how prepared you are.
Tetyana Troshchynska: A listener calls in.
Hosts and experts in the studio communicate with the listener then continue the conversations about the challenges.
Dmytro Telechkoun: The most important barrier is that we think that we know everything. When we buy a car, we study how it is accomplished. The same with kids. But it seems to us that it is given to us at some genetic level. Ideal parents do not exist, because children are different. There are no specific tips, but there are certain things you need to know. They are connected with the mechanisms of how a child absorbs values and models.
Tetyana Troshchynska: I always say to my son that he must not respect me just because I am his mother.
Dmytro Telechkoun: Here goes this word «must». I only must defend my own boundaries and dignity. All parents should learn this. The true respect and true authority of a mother is when I can be angry with her, when I can talk about my feelings and experiences directly. If I start hiding them, what respect are we talking about?
Maxym Bondarenko: There are should be trust and understanding: whatever you say, you will not be rejected. When we gather together with our daddies in our male club, we are talking about challenges. They are: not a decent level of family provision, sometimes broken relationships, lack of knowledge, a bad example on TV (male-macho, but very rarely a family man). But as practitioners we have come to the conclusion that the biggest challenge for us is to forgive our own father for his mistakes or get rid of our child’s expectations that he should have been perfect.
But how can I judge my father? I do not know why this happened, but my father and mother met and I appeared. And I can be grateful for this gift of life.
Andriy Kulykov: And here is a question: a gift of life or a burden of life? Therefore, I believe that it is wrong to say that children are obliged to parents. But parents are obliged to children, because they bring them into this world without asking.
Vasyl Shandro: We talked to people who, in their childhood, felt that they lacked father’s presence, attention and love. Lets’ listen to their stories
Tatyana Troshchyshka: What tendencies did you notice? There was a phrase that daddy did not live with the family, but was present in the child’s life.
Maxym Bondarenko: Indeed, there is physical absence. I would not judge, because the reasons may be different. Very often we are caught by this. And what about emotional absence? After all, a father may be present in a family, but in the role of furniture. My daddies are joking about the «Parent Bermuda Triangle» — you don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t betray, bring salary, but you dissolve on the radar of your children and your wife when you come home, because there are these three zones «TV», «refrigerator», «sofa».
Andriy Kulykov: Threre were two people who said what I feel like a father and as a son. One person said that she lacked communication with her father. I feel now that I did not tell something to my father. It’s been 20 years since my father’s death, but I think that we could walk along and talk. Another person said that her dad did not carry her enough on his hands. I have a feeling that I did not carry my daughter enough on my hands. And I am grateful to my daughter that she has never thrown it to me. Sometimes, when she is now caring for me, I wonder how she has saved her feelings for me.
Tetyana Troshchynska: Can one compensate all this? It is possible?
Maxym Bondarenko: Yes it is. The feeling of a father’s heart gives you a sense of security.
Dmytro Telechkoun: Is it possible to give a child more time when you are constantly absent? Yes, you can. Fathers are looking for excuses. But if the relationship is honestly built, then a child will ask for as much as he/she needs.
Vasyl Shandro: Perhaps there are certain stereotypes that upbringing a child is not a man’s issue?
Andriy Kulykov: It’s just as absurd or paradoxical question as the fact that it’s not a man’s issue to wash or cook. I washed diapers. I worked as a journalist. When you come home after work, it is your duty to help another person with whom you have given birth to your child.
Vasyl Shandro: Domestic violence is often referred to as a «female issue». Jackson Kats (educator and prominent anti-violence activist) argues that this is a deeply male issue and that men must take responsibility and become leaders in this sphere. We have an audio file on this topic.
Tetyana Troshchynska: Dmytro, I see that you do not agree with something.
Dmytro Telechkoun: If we talk about the responsibility of men for violence, for the eradication of violence, then here is not the responsibility of a man, it is the responsibility of the environment, the education our parents gave us when they raised us as people who do not know how to understand their borders, to stand up for their dignity. We face various types of violence, but if we do not react, we are giving a bad example to our children. We must stop it, we need to teach this our children in early childhood. One should not allow others to violate dignity.
Maxym Bondarenko: I would recommend to talk about your emotions, especially uncontrolled explosions, with your wife and children. When we talk about a family conflict, we quarrel in the presence of children. But how often do we reconcile in the presence of children? Did our parents teach us to apologize?
Andriy Kulykov: And I want to draw your attention to Mr. Kats’s last sentence that men should not be against women, but stand together with them. The same for women who should stand together with men.
Tetyana Troshchynska: Perhaps we should highlight some practical things for daddies, which can be interesting and unique.
Dmytro Telechkoun: Appreciate the time you are given to be with your child. You can be a fairly effective parent even if you have rare encounters with your kid. And you can be an absolutely ineffective parent even if you live together with your kid. Speaking of my peak paternal experience, it was when we played together (I, my wife and our child), our kid interrupted the game and said: «I’m so happy that I want to cry.»
Maxym Bondarenko: Men, an important issue for us is to be authoritative. Do you want to be genuine authority, not authoritarian? Do you want to be the one who are trusted? Be with your children. Authority is formed from presence. I’m learning to go on a date with my wife, with my children, with each child. What does it mean to go on a date? It's not just the time spent together, it’s you and me, the time that is just for us. My three-year- old Mariya says in the evening: «Let’s have a date.» I have to light a candle (this is not discussed), I make flakes with milk for her and cup of tea with mint for myself. The main thing is not to fall asleep. She eats a couple of spoons, looks at me and says: «Do you see me?» I say that I see. She replies that she also sees me, stands up and goes to bed.
Andriy Kulykov: Most of my material experience of being a daddy, probably, does not matter much, because it was at the beginning of the 90's. Fathers, daddies, if you want to be authoritative for your children, be able to do almost everything mothers can do. Daddies, if you have daughters don’t be jealous of their boyfriends.
Listen to the full version of the talk show in the attached audio file.