Our 406th Dad in the Limelight is Miki Dedijer. I want to thank Miki for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.
1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge) My family and I live on a farm on the west coast of Sweden. We moved here from the capital of Stockholm in 2005. I left a thriving freelance business as documentary filmmaker to learn to live off the land and create community. It’s been a steep learning curve with loads great lessons. We’ve held a lot of community gatherings on our farm, and offered workshops in nature awareness, permaculture, community-building and other ways to create healthy relationships with our surroundings. As a life coach for dads, I now support nature-loving, culturally creative dads through NaturalDads.com, helping fathers be engaged, available and present with their children.
2) Tell me about your family
My wife and I have two boys aged 4 and 6. They go to a local Waldorf kindergarden (Steiner) which they share with a few other children, sheep, ducks, chickens and a patch of land where they can learn about growing food. At home we share our everyday with a horse, several cats, ducks and chickens. We also have a little puppy Maui, who is a Norsk Lundehund, an amazing breed that used to hang with the Vikings.
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
I’d say it’s knowing how to center myself whenever I’m triggered by one of my boys. A lot of fathers I know feel the same. We variously know it as our ability to be patient, present or available at all times. It’s a key aspect of being a father, practicing our ability to be vulnerable, loving, compassionate while also setting healthy boundaries for our children.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
My suggestion would be to extend the family so that we as dads have a large circle of support. I don’t believe we can father on our own. My belief is that we need each other to raise our children. Healthy, strong relationships with other adults creates a more diverse social ecosystem where our children can thrive. That includes a healthy relationship to nature. We’re all biologically wired for connection, but for children to make the connections they need good guides and mentors.
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?
My wife and I are continuously looking to weave the two together.How can we create as much continuity in our lives and our family values? That’s a question that guides us as a couple, and helps us discover and create new pathways to a daily life as parents pursuing their respective gifts.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
That I want to spend a lot of time with other fathers together with my children. As a man and a father, I’m limited in my gifts, abilities, beliefs and perceptions. When my boys interact with other fathers, they see how I’m complemented by other men. I’m very experienced in nature, having trained as an ecologist, been a journalist focused on our relationship to the environment, worked as a nature mentor and running our farm. But I’m not very good at constructing or working with tools, playing sports or music. The boys can spend time with other fathers and see that everyone has different gifts. that helps kids accept and even celebrate their differences.
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent? The most memorable experience was this summer when our boys experimented with the outdoor toilet in our barn which dates back to 1929. I’ll spare you the details.
Find out more about Mike on his Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/CoachMikiDedijer
Also, you can get a free copy of his ebook here – http://naturaldads.com/12-2/three-practices-more-present-dad/
If you have any questions for Miki, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!
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