DADS DO HAIR
I’ve been fascinated about the dynamics and ideas around male friendships and I’ve been researching and asking men about experiences of making and maintaining friendships, especially as we get older and become parents.
Male friendships will often be shoulder to shoulder, as in we do stuff together, like watch the football or play pool or go to the gym – they are based around an activity. This is all good but can be limiting when it comes to sharing some of the deeper stuff, it doesn’t allow for so much open and honest conversation about life. The face to face relationships are ones that are more vulnerable, go to the core, are based on sharing and support and built on trust. They are more personal.
I often get asked about how we can, as a society or workplace or within families, encourage men to be more open and talk. The idea that men don’t talk is both true and lazy all at once. There is a really interesting psychology around how you can go about creating safe spaces and how we can encourage vulnerability between men.
I was reflecting on our Dads Do Hair event on Saturday (which was amazing BTW!). None of the dads in attendance knew each other before the event but by the end we were all chatting and sharing some very personal experiences and ideas around our roles as dads, masculinity and thoughts on gender based parenting.
The hair workshop was amazing, we laughed and we learnt. The main thing I learnt was that I probably need a few 121 lessons as I found braiding super hard! But it was amazing to learn some of the basics around hair and I managed to pull of a decent bun which I’m sure my daughter will be happy about. After doing the hair we had a reading from Sam’s chapter in our DAD book where he speaks about the boxes that we are put into as mums and dads. We broke into pairs and reflected on our roles as dads. The group included a single dad and lots of dads who were taking on the main caring role for their children.
We had used a shoulder to shoulder activity to create a shared experience and bond which then allowed us to have a face to face relationship.
Dads Do Hair was an amazing and wholesome experience. We had such a laugh and it was great to get dads together and for us to learn an important parenting life skill.
I want to give a massive thank you to Dorcas from Afro PH Babe who facilitated brilliantly. And to Wellspring Church for hosting us. The event was filmed for TV so you’ll be able to see more on Sunday 19th June on BBC One at 1315.
We’ll definitely be doing another MusicFootballFatherhood ‘Dads Do Hair’ event and if it’s something you think could work at your place of work, maybe for your parenting or gender network, then please do get in contact 😀
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