MentallySexyJulianBefore the announcement of this year’s Most Mentally Sexy Dad – Sunday 11 September – we’re going to get into the minds of the Top Five Dads. Their entries rose to the top of an elite group and so the Mentally Sexy staff and judges thought it’d be a great idea to learn a little bit more about them. Today Julian responds to their questions.

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JuliankidsboatDamon YoungHow have you failed as a parent?

I fail as a parent constantly. The key thing is trying to learn from those mistakes and to avoid repeating them.  Perhaps the most vivid example in my memory was a few months ago with almost 4yo Ella. My wife Kel and I had agreed we wouldn’t smack our kids, preferring other methods of discipline, but Ella had done everything to push my buttons one day and _ tired and over it _ I gave her a little tap on the leg. I’ll never forget the look on Ella’s face. She was devastated. I immediately regretted it. It may sound a bit trivial to some and really I know our girls are lucky to have parents who care and love them as much as we do, but it remains a situation I know I could have handled better.

Paul Gooden: Who is your favorite Wiggle and why? You must name the Wiggle and color.  

Clear winner here. Sam the yellow Wiggle. Ella has only ever known the Wiggles with Sam. As for me though, I’d probably actually nominate Captain Feathersword. He seems like a bloke you could have a beer with.

Maureen Matthews: Do you feel equally confident parenting boys and girls?

As a dad of two girls, it’s tough to answer that one. We did want a boy, but life handed us the two most delightful girls you could possibly imagine and we’d have it no other way. I feel completely comfortable with them though I’m sure they’ll present some challenges in the future!

JulianwithbubKate Hunter: Do you ever wish you were a father in an earlier generation? Which one and why?

No, I like the way so many dads of my generation are so hands on with their kids. Many of my mates are the same, we love spending time with their kids and sharing the load.

Steve Biddulph: What is the biggest satisfaction you get from being a father?

The moments of unsolicited affection. The laughs. The pleasure of watching them grow, learn and care for others. Hearing Ella sing the Collingwood club song at bedtime (true). The list is endless.

Jack Ellis: How does your parenting compare with the parenting you received?

I had great parents, but they were very defined roles. Mum was the caregiver and dad was the provider for a large family of seven. I was the baby and mum’s joy, but it probably took later in my life for my father and I to truly understand each other. I love the affection he shows for his granddaughters. I guess, I’m more like mum in my approach and as a result my wife reckons I’m probably a bit of a soft target at times. That’s just me.

JulianEllaDan Barron: Is there anything that you think the Government, or employers, could be doing to encourage other fathers to take a more active role in household chores, and the direct care of their children, like the Mentally Sexy dads do?

Paid paternity leave’s a step in the right direction. Yet rather than just incentives, I’d love to see more fathers make a conscious decision to get more involved. Lack of time is not a reasonable excuse.

Reservoir Dad: What’s your favorite Rick Astley song?

Ummm, did he have a song other than “Never Gonna Give You Up?’’. My wife reckons “My Arms Keep Missing You’’ but, frankly, that just sounds too weird.

(Top choice! – RD)

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