What you learn in childhood sets you up for life

This week I’ve been hugely grateful for my dad. He is miles away in a different city and he doesn’t like talking on the phone. In fact he’s not a big talker at all. Despite the distance he’s helped me more than I can say this week.

My dad had a simple philosophy when it came to his children, all five of us. He didn’t believe in doing things for you, he believed in teaching you so you could do it yourself. This is how I came to be a dab hand with a paint brush and roller and countless other DIY tasks which have helped me no end this week.

Thinking about it, the power of my dad’s (and my mum’s) approach goes much further. There was absolutely no gender divide in our house. With three girls and two boys it would have been easy to assign us gender based tasks and teach gender based skills but there was none of that.

We all learned mixed skills. My brother taught me how to rye a tie and my shoelaces but he also taught me how to see my Brownie and Guide badges on my uniform. He’s also does a great line in power tools :0 My sister on the other hand,  can’t sew but if you need any DIY done she’s the best person to have around.

All of this meant that I had no mental restriction on what women could or couldn’t do until I went to university and was exposed to other people’s prejudices. Until then I knew I couldn’t be the King, the Pope or a Priest but everything else was up for grabs. Fortunately I was stubborn enough to hold on to me own view of life and keep rocking that “why not” attitude! It’s served me pretty well.

So today I’m grateful for my mum and dad and the subtle lessons they taught me. Fathers shape not only their boys but theirs girls by I stilling in them a sense of how women should be treated.

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