Friends, Dads, and Quality Time from Australia by Bruce Sallan and Darren Lewis

Category: Families & Generations

One of the wonders of the Internet and my writing has been the reach it’s had globally.  Not long ago, I received an email that began with “G’Day” from a man named Darren who had come across one of my columns.  He wrote a wonderfully complimentary note and also told me about his fathering website and business.  Clearly, though we live literally on opposite sides of the globe, our values united us instantly.

I asked him to send me something that expressed his views and what his site offers which is centered on adventures with fathers and their children, boys or girls.  He also included some very relevant data that I totally agree with and that also makes me sad to read.  How so many parents can spend so little time with their offspring is a mystery to me.  The lasting damage is incalculable.  I’m often struck by the clearly documented fact that human beings tend to recreate behavior they’ve learned whether it’s good or bad.  That’s why abused children often become abusing parents.  It defies logic, to me, but the evidence is overwhelming. 

So, I’m a firm believer that the more quality time we spend with our children the bigger and more positive the potential impact.  Of course, it means being focused, being concerned, being THERE.  My first major column dealt with this and you can find it here in the My Columns section.  It’s called “There’s No Such Thing as Quality Time.”

Anyway, here is some of what Darren shared with me that describes both the research in this area and what Fathering Adventures has to offer.  Please click on his link should you care to learn and read more. So, with no further introduction, here is what Darren and Fathering Adventures has to say:

“Research reveals that children with involved, loving fathers are significantly more likely to do well in school, have healthy self-esteem, exhibit empathy and pro-social behavior, and avoid high-risk behaviors such as drug use, truancy, and criminal activity compared to children who have uninvolved fathers.

Sadly, research also reveals that on average, a child spends only 8 minutes per day with his or her father. Every child has one core question, though they may never voice it. This core question must be answered by BOTH his and her mother AND father. This universal question can be asked in a variety of ways… “Do you love me?” “Are you proud of me?” “Do you delight in me?” A child spells LOVE, “T-I-M-E”, and 8 minutes per day, does not, and cannot answer this question in a healthy, life-giving way. The absence of Dad’s presence in the life of his child will leave the child with a deep unseen wound that if left unhealed, will continue to shape and affect their life in a potentially destructive manner, for a lifetime. Here at Fathering Adventures, we believe that prevention is better than cure.

Our Vision… To provide an enjoyable, exciting, adventure-filled environment for a father to succeed, be inspired, equipped, and empowered, to really connect, or perhaps reconnect with their child. A life-giving, life-changing experience that promises to provide moments that will create powerful memories to last a lifetime, and opportunities to fill a photo album.

Our Mission… To turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers.

Visit our website at to explore the range of adventures available for dads and their sons, and or dads and their daughters.”

Note from Bruce:  I only know Darren and his site through our interactions by e-mail.  I hope to someday go on one of his adventures with my boys and, for that matter, to visit Australia and New Zealand someday.  The fact that Darren has offered to host us in his home is an extra incentive (just kidding Darren).  But, my point here is that I can’t personally attest to anything about these adventures beyond what my correspondence has disclosed and what I’ve seen and read on his site.  My gut tells me it’s terrific, but you’ll have to be the judge.