Click to find out more

A must watch: Simon Sinek – Millennials in the work place

We live in a world that is consumed by technology and social media. Relationships suffer, work and our ability to cope with everyday stresses are tough for our children. Children born post 1982 have been brought up in a new and potentially damaging era, a time never seen by their parents. Mr Simon Sinek talks about how we have become this addicted society to social media, why it is so damaging and how we can change it and make life more personal, enjoyable, develop meaningful relationships and be more satisfied at work. Something our children must learn and its starts with us! A very interesting and en-lighting video discussion on what we can do.  It will be the best 18 minutes you spend this year 🙂 Oh, and put your phone AWAY when you watch it – unless of course your watching from your phone LOL

 

Pancakes with banana and maple syrup

Pancakes

On those mornings that your wondering what to cook for the kids? or just want something different to make. Try this easy pancake recipe (better than the packet mix) kids can even help. The first time i tried I ruined a couple but then found out that its normal until the pan gets an even heat through it.  Have fun and Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 cup self raising flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
Milk
2 Banana’s (or any fruit you and your children like.
Maple Syrup

Method:
Sift flour and sugar into mixing bowl
Add egg and approx 1/4 cup of milk and stir
Continue to add milk until mixture is smooth (no lumps) and desired consistency is achieved.
Texture should be thick, smooth but pour easily

Heat frying pan, add a little butter (so mixture does not stick)
Cook until holes appear on top of the pancake, flip and cook on other side until golden brown.

Slice up banana and place over the top and between the layers of pancakes, dribble maple syrup over the top.

TIP: sometimes the first couple of pancakes don’t work out but once the pan has an even distribution of heat they will brown up nicely.

One of our facebook dads “Roger Blackwell” suggested to simply remove the sugar and make a thin mix.  Don’t mix hard just blend with whisk. Throw in a banana, brown sugar syrup, crushed nuts and yoghurt. Winner! Or sliced ham, melted cheese and relish over the top. kids love them

I’ve never met a child who doesn’t wish they could fly

And now they can! I had the pleasure of visiting iFly DownUnder in Penrith, NSW last week and wow! What an experience!

Whether it is for Father’s Day, Christmas or your birthday, I’d be putting iFly on your wish list.

ifly kids 1iFly is a state of the art indoor skydiving facility that caters for all ages, with kids from as young as 3 being able to participate. Australia’s first indoor skydiving facility opened in Penrith just 3 months ago and five more sites are set to be open around the country in the near future with The Gold Coast being next on the list.

From the moment we arrived, the experience was phenomenal! The towering ‘wind tunnel’ was awe inspiring even from the outside. Even the staircase leading us to the top added to the anticipation with each step reading a thousand feet as we climbed. 1000ft, 2000ft, 3000ft, 4000ft.

ifly kids 2Right in front of us as we walked in was a huge 16ft wide glass tunnel with two of the more experienced instructors gracefully and effortlessly flying their bodies inside, flipping and somersaulting in the air. This show alone is worth the visit!

Something that really struck me about this place was the range of different people in the facility… Everyone from experienced award winning skydivers to 3 year olds, to adults 70 plus!

After we checked in we sat down to watch the other flyers until it was our turn for training. Gazing down into the depths of the tunnel invoked excitement and admittedly a little nervousness. As per usual all the kids were raring to go!

ifly kids 3After a short time our smiley instructor Tim called us into a room where we watched a short video about how to fly. Everything from hand signals to body position and a quick look at the gear we would be wearing was covered. The instructor took as through a practice session of our body position and we all got the thumbs up!

Now if you or your kids wear glasses, do not fear. They have special goggles that can go over the top so you can wear them for the flight. After hearing a few stories about people losing wedding rings and other bits and pieces in the tunnel, we took off all our loose items and stored them safely.

ifly kids 4The butterflies had kicked in as I strutted around in my suit but the kids were more excited than ever!

We walked single file into the holding chamber in the tunnel to take our places, but before we got started they invited all of us inside the huge tunnel to bounce around on the net and feel the air rush around us! Wow! The winds in this tunnel can be turned up to over 280km/hr!! For the more experienced fliers this is far more than a thrill ride, it’s a sport with ‘Bodyflight’ competitions being held all around the world with participant’s competing in many categories from artistic flying to ‘speed rounds’.

It was time…. We could hear and feel the wind increasing as we excitedly waited for our instructor Tim to gives us the nod. I launched into the tunnel with the help of Tim and started flying! Really flying! The first thing you notice is the strength of the wind and how it rushes all around you. The highly trained instructors never let you far from their grip and coach you all the way through with hand signals and extremely animated facial expressions. It’s actually surprisingly easy to get the hang of. Relax your body, chin up and smile!

Of course the kids were naturals which according to instructor Tim is common. iFly DownUnder even have a Junior iFlyer club with after school and weekend sessions for youngsters. If footy or dance lessons aren’t their thing, this very well could be! Bodyflight is a great way to keep kids active, improve coordination, build confidence and of course meet new friends!

They warned us as we arrived that flying is addictive and they were right! The feeling of effortlessly floating around inside the tunnel was incredible. In our last flight for the session the instructor cranked up the wind and whizzed us up to the top of the 13 metre tunnel and safely back to the net. For a moment you get to experience what would take hours of flying time to be able to accomplish alone.

Watching on as the other instructors spun and flipped and flew around the tunnel, it wasn’t surprising that so many become regular fliers.

Feeling euphoric as our session came to an end, we handed back our gear and high fived each other as we exited the tunnel. Looking through the photos and videos of our flights afterwards was hilarious. We never knew we could smile so wide!

We decided to stick around and grab a bite to eat while we watched the other flyers have their turns. Even the café there was amazing! UpRaw café supplies ultra-healthy foods that are delicious! No refined sugar is used in the café with a focus on healthy cooking techniques such as the intriguing ‘Air Fryer’ and the use of coconut oil. They of course offer Gluten free, lactose free and animal product free options.

iFly offers plenty of options for kid’s birthdays and other events with a focus on education and fun. This is definitely somewhere you want to check out.

Click here as iFly have specials running all the time and you can get all of the details here.

Thank you to Lex Stanley: Guest Dads Online writer and Skydiver.

Where possible always choose to mediate

Emmanuel Samios BarristerIf you were in a relationship that has irretrievably broken down, you may have some questions…
How do you settle your affairs and move on with your life?
How do you make parenting arrangements with the best interests of your children in mind?
How do you divide the matrimonial property in a way that is just and equitable, that you can both live with?

The litigation trap
If you can’t negotiate these issues with your former partner, it’s tempting to file a family law application in Court.
If you make the decision to litigate, you will likely begin a process that is extremely costly, stressful, inconvenient and time consuming for both of you.

Flaming conflict
You should also remember that litigation usually adds to the conflict.
Where children are involved, you should consider it your personal duty to reduce conflict if at all possible… to minimise the risk of your adult issues affecting your children.
Another problem is that if you initiate litigation, it can make negotiation with your former partner much harder.
There is a real risk that they will stop thinking about how to solve the issues with you, and focus their attention to beating you in court.
That is a completely different mindset that can escalate the conflict.
Suddenly, they may stop talking to you and demand you only speak to them through their lawyers.

Best time to mediate
I think the best time to mediate is usually before you commence litigation… and for maximum chance of success, I encourage you to attend my mediations without legal representation.
If your matter is already in court, we can still mediate to try to get you out of the court process before you incur even more legal fees.

Keeping control
By filing in court, what you are really doing is taking the decision making power out of your hands and placing it in the hands of a Judge.
You may be lucky and everything goes your way in Court.
However, what often occurs is that the Court will make orders that both parties are unhappy with.
It’s my opinion that the Australian Family Law Judges do an excellent job managing a very heavy work load.
The Australian judiciary is truly outstanding.
But… that said… who is in a better position to understand the needs of your children?
Is it you and your former partner, the people who raised your children from birth… or is it a judicial officer who is working from a court file?
With proper guidance, you and your former partner can make the best decisions for your children.

Privacy
There is also the matter of your privacy… the court is a public place.
Do you really want to air your dirty laundry for the world to see?
Do you want your family, friends, community to know what happened inside your home… inside your bedroom?
Do you want everyone to know your most sensitive financial affairs?
If you keep control, you can also protect your privacy.

Costs
There is also the issue of cost.
In Australia, it is common for legal fees to exceed $20,000 or $30,000 to take a simple matter all the way to a final hearing in court.
Your former partner will likely spend a similar amount of money.
I’ve seen cases where a party has spent over $100,000 on their own legal fees.
Where is the sense in you and your former partner spending so much money on legal fees?
… with no guarantee that you’ll get an outcome you can live with?

Lawyers
I have had the privilege of being briefed by some of the best Family Law solicitors in Australia.
You should find that most Australian solicitors are highly ethical and will do their very best for you…
But to provide you with high quality representation, they rightly need to charge proper fees for their professional time… and these fees will quickly add up.
No matter how hard they try to minimise your legal fees, they may have a hard time doing so where there is excessive conflict.
Let’s see if we can work together to reduce the conflict and minimise your legal fees.

My advice to you is to start the resolution process with mediation.
Don’t tangle yourself in litigation.
Don’t escalate the conflict with your former partner.
Keep control of the solution and don’t delegate your decision making power to the court lightly.
Defend your privacy.
Don’t spend huge amounts of money on legal fees … that is money which should go to you and your children.

Conclusion
As a family law barrister, I can assist you and your former partner to come to an agreement that you can both live with.
You will benefit from my experience in the Australian Family Law courts and benefit from the dispute resolution techniques I have developed in my practice.
My chambers are in Melbourne, however I will also mediate in Brisbane and Sydney.
Please contact my clerk, Patterson’s List, on 03 9225 7888.
Just tell my clerk that you would like to arrange a mediation with Emmanuel and we can make the arrangements.

Written by:
Emmanuel Samios LLB(Hons) LLM(QUT)
Barrister-at-Law

ABSENT – Documentary

ABSENT documentaryFilmmaker Justin Hunt will be joined by musician-composer James Hetfield in presenting and discussing the award-winning documentary Absent, exploring the worldwide crisis of absent and disengaged fathers and the negative impact that the “father wound” makes on society.

Weaving interviews with participants who speak from observation and personal experience, the film includes on-camera testimony from author John Eldredge, World Champion boxer Johnny Tapia, fitness model Robin Decker and James Hetfield, best known as co-founder of Metallica. “The father wound is so deep and so all-pervasive in so many parts of the world that its healing could well be the most radical social reform conceivable,” says Father Richard Rohr, and this film makes a strong case that this issue is central to the human condition.

Talking about James Hetfield’s involvement with the movie, Rockville Music Magazine published an exclusive interview with the film’s director Justin Hunt.

I am currently in the process of arranging a screening for all Dads Online friends and supporters around Australia. stay tuned!

 

The Hero Project

The Hero ProjectKhaaliq Thomas is a professional photographer and custodial dad of 3 (recently divorced). For the past year he has been working on a photo documentary concentrating on single / custodial fathers households.

We would like to spread the word and support his project so please like this page and share this story from our Facebook page.

Purpose of The Project
The project will challenge the belief of fathers being incapable, unwilling, and or inadequate in performing responsibly, productively and lovingly as a single / custodial parent. I currently have 3 participants and need another 3 to 4 for a truly diverse look into these unconventional family structures. Attention will be given to the dedicated ability of these dads and their commitment to raising productive children and supplying a stable home on their own. The finished project will consist of a 110 page full color photo book. He is using Kickstarter to raise the funds to search for more dads through advertising, print and design of the book and setting up exhibitions of the final project.

Play the video introduction of this project below.

hero final version from DARREN BROWN on Vimeo.

A Banana Smoothie Idea

A banana smoothie ideaA smoothie that the kids will love, you can be creative by purchasing some decorative glasses and making it look like a smoothie you would get from a resort. Kids always appreciate the effort.
A deliciously healthy way to start the day, this smoothie is full of bananas, honey, with just a hint of cinnamon that makes it more-ish. It’s breakfast in a glass and a great way to have a meal on the run or an after school snack.

 

 

banana-smoothie

 

 

 

 

Serves 2

  • 1 Banana – best if they are ripe
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 scoops of ice-cream
  • 2 ice cubes
  • 2 decorative glasses
  • straws

Go crazy and blend it all together and enjoy!

 

A Chicken Risotto the kids will love

You wont get any arguments from the kids with this chicken risotto, great tasting meal for everyone.  Best of all it can saved for a few days in the fridge so you have ready made meals at your disposal to heat up when needed.

Ingredients

Serves 6

  • 2 teaspoons of butter or margarine
  • 1 onion chopped and diced
  • 1 garlic clove crushed and diced
  • 2 cups of raw arborio rice
  • 3 cups of salt reduced chicken stock (Campbells)
  • 2 cubes of chicken stock powder
  • 3 cups of water
  • 2 chicken fillet breasts trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/3 cup pf white wine
  • 3 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese
  • 310g of corn kernels
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • Pepper for taste

Cook in a non-stick saucepan.
Melt butter in pan, cook onion and garlic for approx 2 minutes.
Add Rice and stir onion and garlic through for about 3 minutes.
Add 2 cups of the Campbells chicken stock and the 2 chicken stock powder cubes.
Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, stir frequently.
Once liquid has been absorbed, Add in diced chicken pieces.
Add 1 cup of  Campbells chicken stock, ! cup of water and 1/3 cup of white wine.
Stir continuously on simmer
Once liquid has been adsorbed add in final 2 cups of water.
Add in Corn kernels and frozen peas.
Add in 3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan
Stirring continuously once liquid is adsorbed rice should be cooked.

NOTE: Risotto when cooked should have a moist consistency.

 

Chicken and Leek Casserole

Dads Online VideoA great meal to cook for you and the kids.  I always get asked for seconds,  so I hope you experience the same.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup of plain flour
  • 8 chicken thighs, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 Leek, washed and halved
  • 4 rashes of bacon chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 100g of green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 100g of mushrooms

Preheat oven to 180C. Place flour in a large plastic bag (freezer type), add some salt and pepper to season.  Add chicken and shake to coat with flour. Remove the chicken from bag and shake off any excess flour back into bag.  Continue until all chicken is coated.

Heat butter and oil in a fry pan over a medium heat. Cook chicken in batches for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove and keep on a plate.

Add leek, garlic and bacon to the pan and cook until Leek is tender – stirring occasionally.

Transfer to a oven proof casserole dish and add chicken and 2 cups of chicken stock – cover and bring to the boil and then remove from heat.

Place into oven for 35 minutes on 180C.

Remove from oven, add mushrooms, beans and 1/5 cup pf white wine – cook for a further 15 minutes.

Prepare your rice and plate up.

Once cooled, this dish can be kept in the fridge, then separate your meal servings, heat up and eaten over the next 2- 3 days.

 

 

 

What kids really need from their dads

What kids really need from their dads. A 7 minute sampler of a brilliant 21 minute DVD from The Fathering Project, a University project, aimed at helping fathers and father-figures (such as stepfathers, grandfathers, teachers etc) understand what it is that kids REALLY need from them.  Described by teachers, fathers and psychologists with words such as ‘awesome’, ‘brilliant’, ‘deeply moving’ and ‘should be viewed by EVERY father or father-figure’.
see www.thefatheringproject.org for details.

Butterfly kisses

A beautiful song from Bob Carlisle about a fathers love for his daughter.

 

There’s two things I know for sure
She was sent here from heaven
And she’s daddy’s little girl
As I drop to my knees by her bed at night
She talks to Jesus and I close my eyes
And I thank God for all of the joy in my life
Oh but most of all

For butterfly kisses after bedtime prayer
Stickin’ little white flowers all up in her hair
Walk beside the pony daddy it’s my first ride
I know the cake looks funny daddy but I sure tried

Oh with all that I’ve done wrong
I must have done something right
To deserve a hug every mornin’
And butterfly kisses at night

Sweet 16 today
She’s lookin’ like her mama a little more every day
One part woman the other part girl
To perfume and make up from ribbons and curls
Trying her wings out in a great big world
But I remember

Butterfly kisses after bedtime prayer
Stickin’ little white flowers all up in her hair
You know how much I love you daddy
But if you don’t mind
I’m only gonna kiss you on the check this time

Oh with all that I’ve done wrong
I must have done something right
To deserve her love every mornin’
And butterfly kisses at night

All the precious time
Like the wind the years go by
Precious butterfly
Spread your wings and fly

She’ll change her name today
She’ll make a promise and I’ll give her aways
Standing in the bride room just staring at her
She asked me what I’m thinkin’
And I said I’m not sure
I just feel like I’m loosin’ my baby girl
And she leaned over

Gave me butterfly kisses with her mama there
Stickin’ little white flowers all up in her hair
Walk me down the isle daddy
It’s just about time
Does my wedding gown look pretty daddy?
Daddy’s don’t cry

Oh with all that I’ve done wrong
I must have done something right
To deserve her love every mornin’
And butterfly kisses

I couldn’t ask God for more than this is what love is
I know I’ve got to let her go but I’ll always remember
Every hug in the mornin’ and butterfly kisses

Huntsman Vs Dad

Huntsman spiders are a normal part of the Australian landscape, its not to often you see one this big. An Aussie dad attempts to catch the large huntsman spider with a Chinese food container while his daughter films. If your not scared of spiders this is a must see 🙂