Simon Robinson has fond memories of the “dad dates” his father used to take him on when he was a child. Now with two young daughters of his own, the son of Western Australian of the Year 2013 Professor Bruce Robinson says he can fully appreciate his father’s efforts to make time for him.
His father, the director of the University of WA’s The Fathering Project, has written books of tips for modern dads. Among his advice is the suggestion that dads, no matter how busy, take their children out for a trip or day out on their own.
Mr Robinson said it was an experience he, his younger brother and their sister remembered always looking forward to. “He took all of us away overseas,” he said. “He did it sort of one-on-one, so his attention was not divided,” he said. “It’s a good relationship.
“He’s been a busy guy most of my life and being a father myself I know how hard it is. I can now appreciate the intention.” Like thousands of WA dads, Mr Robinson will spend Father’s Day sharing quality time with his dad and his father-in-law.
He admitted he was still learning about parenthood with his daughters Olivia, 4, and Chelsea, 2, and was still getting through his father’s books. But the most valuable lesson he had learnt so far was to make his children feel valued.
“It’s taken a while but probably the biggest thing I’ve learnt is being intentional and thoughtful,” he said.