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Regard – Edition 1

The Daddy Issue​

Perhaps one of the greatest social changes of our times is the dismantling of rigid, traditional gender roles. This has an often wonderful impact on how dads are parenting. Here we meet 3 fathers who are fathering their way, today.

Photography by Bruno Florin

Edmund wearing Liam in Black Rock

Edmund Lam (ft. Artie)

Did you always know you wanted to be a Dad?

Yes definitely. With the exception of a few years in my late 20’s and early 30’s where I really just wanted to party. I also have a great role model for my own dad, so I looked forward to trying to honour that.

What has surprised you the most about fatherhood?

I was most surprised by how natural it felt and how easily I took to it. While the sleep deprivation and the personal sacrifices are very real, it’s mostly been a blast. I’ve loved every stage of it so far, for different reasons. Artie’s just such a lovely and magical boy. He’s enriched every aspect of my life and gives me a sense of purpose like I’ve never felt before. Can’t wait to see who he becomes.

Do you parent like your Dad did? How so?

My dad raised me with very strong principles and gave us everything he never had. He taught me to measure myself according to my own standards and not those of others. I would like to think I do the same for Artie. Though I’d say I’m a lot more expressive and openly affectionate than my dad was, but I was never made to doubt his love.

“Today, I think it’s expected that dads take a much more active and hands-on role with their kids and be equal partners with the co-parent.” -Edmund


Edmund and Artie Lam

Edmund wearing Liam in Black Rock

What do you think has changed in terms of the expectations of fathering since your Dad had you?

In my dad’s day, I think being a good father mostly meant providing for your children financially and making sure they were well cared for physically. Today, I think it’s expected that dads take a much more active and hands-on role with their kids and be equal partners with the co-parent. Also, vulnerability and being able to admit you’re wrong is a big one for me. Not many people would find it intuitive to apologize to a toddler, certainly not in 1980s China. 

Is there something that you do that makes your kid laugh every time? 

Tickles, they never fail.

Is there something that they do that makes you laugh every time?

When he farts and I call him “Farty McGee”.

What values do you consider in raising your son/daughter in these modern times? Are there gender-specific considerations you think about today?

Respect is the one constant for me. Respect for himself and for others. While he doesn’t have to agree with everyone, respect is always possible. That applies to beliefs, identity or even something as simple as someone’s personal space. In terms of gender considerations, I would want him to respect who he is and make the right choices for him, not for me or anyone else.

Antonin wearing Valery in Tortoise

Antonin BG (ft. Valentine)

Avez-vous toujours su que vous vouliez être papa? 

Non, j’ai toujours vécu au jour le jour et ma vie avant d’avoir un enfant ne collait pas du tout à la vie paternel, travail, fête, travail, dépenses impulsive, voyages etc.

Qu’est-ce qui vous a le plus surpris de la paternité?  Quelle était la différence entre l’attente et la réalité?

A quel point c’est vraiment plus le fun que je pensais.

 Éduquez-vous vos enfants comme vos parents l’ont fait? Comment?

Mon père m’a vraiment aidé à developper mon côté créatif, toujours partant pour inventer des histoires, me pousser dans les arts et en ayant lui même énormément de talents il m’a inspirer toute ma jeunesse à me dépasser. J’essaie de montrer ça à ma fille aussi, embarquer dans toutes ses proposition d’histoires, écouter/chanter de la musique matin et soir, faire moi même les dessins pour le coloriage, lui montrer que si l’intention première est de dépasser des lignes et bien c’est bien.

“Les femmes prennent leur place et j’aime vraiment aider à développer une future femme assumé qui serra consciente de la force qu’elle à et qui pourra entreprendre ce qu’elle le désire dans le future sans qu’elle pensent ne pas être à sa place.” -Antonin


Antonin wearing Maxime in Blue Sand

 

Que pensez-vous a changé en ce qui concerne les attentes de paternité depuis que votre père vous a eu? 

C’est moins tabou en tant que homme de montrer un côté plus tendre, un comportement qui était considérer plus féminin est maintenant plus facile de le montrer. Les femmes prennent leur place et j’aime vraiment aider à développer une future femme assumé qui serra consciente de la force qu’elle à et qui pourra entreprendre ce qu’elle le désire dans le future sans qu’elle pensent ne pas être à sa place.

Est-ce que tu fais quelque chose qui fait rire ton enfant à chaque fois? 

On rit tout le temps à la maison, tout le monde fait des blagues, chante, fait des imitations et des drôles de voix mais un classique bruit de pet ça va toujours faire rire les enfants de toute génération.

Est-ce qu’ils font quelque chose qui vous fait rire à chaque fois? 

Quand elle m’imite et joue au papa. Ça marche à tout coups.

Quelles valeurs considérez-vous dans l’éducation de votre fils / fille en ces temps modernes? Y a-t-il des considérations liées au genre auxquelles vous pensez aujourd’hui?

On essaie de lui montrer que les barrières sont rarement une bonne chose, que papa peut porter du rose, qu’elle n’est pas obligé de vouloir porter des robes a paillettes juste parce que c’est ce qu’elle se fait montrer par des amies, par la société et par les émission. Que y’a pas de mal à porter des robes rose mais seulement si elle a aussi pris en considération qu’un jeans noir est aussi une option possible.

Comment la mère de votre enfant décrirait-elle votre style de père?

Un père présent, à l’écoute, drôle et créatif. Un père qui désire prendre un rôle égale au mien.

Quels sont vos surnoms pour votre enfant et pourquoi?

Valou ou croquette.

Scott wearing Ariel in Black

Scott Meleskie (ft. Wilder)

Did you always know you wanted to be a Dad?

I never really had big dreams of wanting to be a Dad, though I knew I liked kids and wanted to raise a family one day. I definitely wanted to see what a kid I helped create would look like!

What has surprised you the most about fatherhood? Like, what was the difference between the expectation and the reality? 

Well you never really know what to expect, you get horror stories from other parents about how tough it is and how your life will change. But to be honest, in my experience is hasn’t been quite that difficult. Sure there are hard moments, but it is surprising how quickly you adapt and how most of the time your instincts tell you the right thing. I think if you’re able to go with the flow and not be too uptight, your child will follow your lead. The thing that has surprised me the most would be the emotional side of things. As cheesy as it sounds, never had I known a love like the love I have for my son. Not that I was emotionless before, but since becoming a father I am very much more sentimental and touched by things. I have a hard time not crying during movies and sappy TV commercials…

“I want my kid to be empathetic, to recognize that it should be him to help that old lady walk across the street. I didn’t have the privilege of traveling the world until later on in life, so raising a global citizen and passing on our passion in exploring culture and diversity is also very important.” -Scott


Do you parent like your Dad did? How so?

I think there’s always a little bit of one’s father in them. I think I might be a little more affectionate than my Dad was, and given my professional situation, am much more present in my son’s day-to- day life. But my father always loved to play sports with us, and that’s something I love to do with my own son as well.

What do you think has changed in terms of the expectations of fathering since your Dad had you?

Definitely the mentality that the Mum needs to stay home and take after the house & kids while Dad goes off to work. Today it is much more “acceptable” or common to have the father be the one who stays at home with the children. Dads today are expected to be much more present both physically and emotionally than perhaps in the past, and that’s a good thing in my opinion. My wife is setting a great example for Wilder in that she has an important career, is a leader and hard-worker, and still also makes it a priority to give him the motherly love he needs.

Is there something that you do that makes your kid laugh every time?

Wilder is a pretty happy-go-lucky kid, so it is quite easy to make him laugh. He loves being tickled and being goofy so just giving him a glance with a silly face will crack him up. He has a little mischievous twinkle in his eyes, it doesn’t take much to get him laughing.

Is there something that they do that makes you laugh every time?

Whenever he pulls out an expression, or says something you aren’t expecting, that gets me every time. That or when he acts like a puppy and pins me down to lick my face -it’s gross, but you can’t help but laugh.

What values do you consider in raising your son/daughter in these modern times? Are there gender-specific considerations you think about today?

Having a strong female role model in his life in his mother will go great lengths to teach him about gender equality and respecting women. Our most important value for us in raising our kids is kindness, we want them to recognize how fortunate they are to have the things and the opportunities they have, but to know that it it’s meaningless if you don’t help those around you. Chivalry is a lost art; I want my kid to be empathetic, to recognize that it should be him to help that old lady walk across the street. I didn’t have the privilege of traveling the world until later on in life, so raising a global citizen and passing on our passion in exploring culture and diversity is also very important. The more he is exposed to different cultures, foods and experiences, the more of an accepting and informed person he will be when he gets older.

How would the mother of your child describe your fathering style?

Goofy, but loving.

What are your nicknames for your child and why?

With a name like Wilder, we don’t have that many nicknames we use… Sometimes Wildy, but we usually just stick with Wilder.

Scott wearing Ariel in Tortoise

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