Enjoy regular father-friendly news and insights from Fathers Network Scotland and our guest contributors. Contact FNS with your own story.

Welcome to Year of the Dad 2016

David and his sonWelcome to Year of the Dad 2016! We hope you’ve had a fabulous festive break.

Now 2016 is upon us, and the long-awaited launch approaches. We’re looking forward to working with you in 2016 YEAR OF THE DAD - celebrating the difference a great dad can make!


After some market research and stakeholder consultation, we’ve gained some valuable insight into how to support you in making Year of the Dad a success. Here at HQ we’re only a small team of people and we’re so glad to have you on board! We're busy building a supporters’ pack, but in the meantime, here are three ways you can help:

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Pic: BfN by MJS Ferrier used with permissionIs breastfeeding still a realistic option if mum goes back to work leaving dad in charge? SARAH EDWARDS of the Breastfeeding Network offers expert advice for parents deciding how to split parental leave.

Shared leave brings many advantages and it is great for both mums and dads to spend time getting to know their baby during the first year. Of course, it can also bring challenges and how to balance breastfeeding and shared parental leave can be one of them - especially if you want to continue breastfeeding once mum goes back to work and takes the vital equipment with her!

Here are five things we think it might be helpful for parents to know when they are talking about shared parental leave and breastfeeding... 

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International Men's Day posterAs International Men’s Day rouses both support and controversy, NICK THORPE appeals for men and women to work together for gender equality. 

ISN’T every day already International Men’s Day?

That’s the gist of the criticism levelled by some at today’s attempt to “make a difference for men and boys”. How can you have an awareness-raising day for a group that already wields disproportionate power? It simply reinforces the inequality of women.

It’s an important perspective for anyone who recognises (as FNS does) the historical truth of male privilege in society, but it fails to recognise that the particular problems facing men – higher suicide levels, lower life expectancy, underperformance in school, higher prison population, to name a few – are #biggerissues at least partly because we don’t talk about them.

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My Paternity Leave

Douglas and his oldest childrenBeing a great parent is hard enough without stingy employers. As Year of the Dad approaches, DOUGLAS GUEST, father-of-three & head of programmes for FNS, explains why generous paternity should be standard.

NOTHING prepares you for parenthood and the vulnerability you will feel. The first weeks and hours are tough – the first years are tough! It is an emotional rollercoaster and employers that understand this are the ones who will ultimately be valued in society.

I am lucky: for most of my adult life, I’ve worked in the public and third sectors, which tend to have decent work-life balance policies. For my first child I worked for a national charity and had a week paid paternity and a week standard paternity leave. I took additional holidays.

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News from David

David shares his latest book recommendation...Fathers Network Scotland co-founder and CEO DAVID DRYSDALE sends an update from hospital with exciting news about both family and FNS changes... 

Thanks to all of you for your best wishes over the past 7 months as I’ve undergone treatment for cancer. I’m now entering the rehab phase to work with my paralysis, and you may not have heard, but I’m also preparing for the birth of my second child (a daughter!) in a few weeks’ time!

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Countdown to Year of the Dad

Pete Airlie - a dad at 15The clocks have gone back, the nights are drawing in… and the Year of the Dad is fast approaching! Here at Fathers Network Scotland we’re delighted to discover how many of you share our excitement around this celebration of fatherhood and the huge importance of dads in in child development and parenting.

Outdoor instructor Pete Airlie of My Adventure is only the latest to give the thumbs up: a dad at 15 who defied stereotypes by being anything but "deadbeat", his inspiring wee interview a decade later has had more than 1000 viewings since we put it online last week. The message is clearly spreading: dads are unequivocally an asset and deserve to be celebrated!

So what else has been happening? Fasten your seatbelts...

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JOB: Work on Year of the Dad!

Click for full job specWe're looking for a part time Charter Co-ordinator to work on Year of the Dad - could it be you?

Are you passionate about making a difference to Scottish children, families and communities? Would you like a flexible, part-time role within a family-friendly organisation? Would you like to help build a father-friendly world?

If you answered YES to the above and are an adept influencer with an established private sector HR network, then download the full job spec HERE

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Why I love my messy work-family life

Sam PringleFlexible working is at the heart of the Fathers Network Scotland mission – so in National Work Life Balance Week we decided to examine how we walk the talk in practice. Here SAM PRINGLE, FNS head of research, shares a revelation which brought less stress and more fulfilment to her working week…

A FEW years ago I had the opportunity to meet a Professor Ellen Kossek, author of The CEO of Me and an expert on work-life balance. On a visit from the US she spoke with such enthusiasm and knowledge that I went home feeling determined and empowered to improve how I manage my work and family lives.

On her suggestion, I logged into the Center for Creative Leadership and completed their online Worklife Indicator questionnaire – with surprising results.

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Why I work part-time

Simon Watkins and his sonEveryone knows that high-flying professional men can’t expect to work flexibly, right? Wrong! At the start of National Work Life Week, SIMON WATKINS, Committee Clerk at the Scottish Parliament explains how he prioritised his family.

When I was a young boy my dad left for work before I got up and got home after I had gone to bed. He regrets it today. Sometimes my family seemed to be me, my sister and my mum. I didn't want that for my son. Or me.

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Year of the DadSign up here to join Year of the Dad, as NICK THORPE captures the spirit of the 2016 celebration of fatherhood with help from forward-thinking parents and employers.

WANT to know what Year of the Dad is all about? Look no further than John and Nikki Duncan, examplars of the kind of culture change we want to celebrate.

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