1. How do you balance being a dad and a doctor?
It’s not about time – it’s about engaging … actually it’s about both. You can’t have quality time without quantity time – but it doesn’t matter how much time you spend with your kids if you don’t engage. Wherever you are with your kids, be there without distraction! Any distraction that takes your attention away from your kids is giving them the not-so-subtle message that there’s something more important in your life than they are. I never want my kids (or my wife!) to feel that way.
2. How do your relationships with your three children, Joshua (12 yrs), Rachael (10 yrs) and Naethan (4 yrs), differ? Are boys or girls more challenging to raise?
I have several parenting books on my shelf (including one my father wrote about raising us) – two of them in particular are entitled “Raising Boys” and “Raising girls” and they’re completely different. “Challenging” is an apt description for parenting and I know all parents would agree, but it’s dwarfed by the joy and privilege of being a parent.
From our little comedian and superhero Naethan who risks life and limbs to launch himself from any piece of furniture at any height onto my back yelling “I’m Spiderman!” to Rachael’s hugs that last long enough to say “I love you soooo much!” to Joshua’s glance toward the side-line when he’s just put some points on the board that says: “Whaddya think of that one Dad!” I absolutely love the privilege of investing all I am into these three gifts from God that are on loan to Jacqui and I for a little while.
3. Do you think your kids will follow in your footsteps and become doctors?
I’m not sure my kids really believe I’m a doctor – by the time they were old enough to figure out what Dad did for a living, I’d traded clinical medicine for media, so following in my footsteps may not necessarily mean becoming a doctor. What we do encourage our kids to consider is to choose a career that is significant – in other words, work that makes a difference in people’s lives, and being a doctor is only one of many careers that allows you to be significant to others.
4. What does being a father mean to you?
Becoming a father changed everything. I had the privilege of delivering my eldest son – and at that very moment, as I held him in my hands, covered in blood and amnion fluid – before cutting the umbilical chord, my ambition instantly shifted from “What could I be one day?” to “What could he be one day!?” I count it a real blessing to be able to nurture the lives of three little people and to love and guide them into becoming the very best that God intended them to be. Not seeing fatherhood as a privilege is where so many dads go wrong today. I think one of the biggest issues families face in society today is abdication. Abdication from the responsibility of fatherhood – we desperately need fathers who are ready and willing to take on the role of the leader in the family – who have a die hard commitment to their family – to protect, serve and nurture their children … and it starts with loving your wife unconditionally!
5. How do your kids spoil you on Father’s Day?
Usually with a well thought out gift and a home-made Father’s Day card filled with words that I will covet for many years to come, followed by some sort of outdoor Dad activity that involves a lot of action, yelling and ultimately someone getting hurt (and the older I get, the more likely that I’m the injured party!)
6. Seeing as though we love beauty and grooming, we have to throw in a related question – What is the number one grooming product that you can’t live without?
It’s not really a product, as much as it is an activity (that’s FREE) For me the best youth-preserving, body-grooming “product” ever is … EXERCISE daily.
7. What do you love doing as a family on weekends or for leisure?
We’re a surfing family so the swell is good we surf, and when it’s not we’re on our mountain bikes … and if it’s raining (and the swell is bad) then we gather round a board game (lately “names in a hat” is top of the charts) and get into laughing fits very quickly.