As people across Australia prepare to celebrate Father’s Day on September 5th, it’s fair to say that the past year has been a particularly difficult one for mums and dads alike. From lockdowns to home-schooling, parents have had to face all kinds of challenges as a result of COVID - which makes it all the more important to make dad feel extra-special on his big day!
To understand how the impact of Coronavirus has affected some of our very own dads here at National Dental Care and DB Dental, we chatted to three of our team members about how they’re making the best of parenting during a pandemic.
Dr Alex Poli
Dentist at DB Dental, Melville and Innaloo (WA)
A dentist at our DB Dental practice in Melville, Western Australia, Dr Alex Poli became a father for the first time in April this year. We asked Alex about his experiences of becoming a new dad in the midst of a pandemic, and what this has meant for him and his family.
“On a positive note, one of the best things about becoming a father during the pandemic has been that it allowed me to spend more time with my son than I would have otherwise, as particularly early on I wasn’t working as much.
My son made some key developmental leaps during this time, which was great as I was able to see these first hand rather than being told about them by my wife!
Being from England, one of the challenges has been that my parents aren’t able to come to Australia to visit. For now, we’re making the best of it by using things like FaceTime to stay connected”.
Dr Antony Benedetto
Dentist at National Dental Care, Erina (NSW)
Based in Erina in New South Wales, Dr Antony Benedetto has been navigating the challenges of working while also home-schooling his two children - a son aged 7 and a daughter aged 13. He shared his home-schooling experiences with us.
“Given the different ages of my kids, they require very different input in terms of home-schooling. My 7-year-old needs a lot more hands-on involvement (if our backs are turned he’ll probably end up doing cartwheels!), while my 13-year-old is at the stage where she can sort of ‘run her own race’.
I have to say I’ve been really impressed by the way both of them have adapted to this new environment - it’s hard enough for adults to sit through a 3-hour Zoom meeting, let alone for kids having to switch to a completely online mode of learning.
The best piece of advice I can give to other parents in these circumstances is to try and find common ground with your children and really treasure that. Look for shared interests or just give what they’re into a go - it’s a great strategy for spending time together and staying connected.”
CEO, National Dental Care Group
Our CEO, Craig Stevens, has two children who currently live overseas. At a time when global travel has been hugely impacted by COVID, we chatted to him about how he’s coping with the challenges of having his family in different parts of the world during a pandemic.
“My children - aged 21 and 23 - have both been studying overseas, with one now working in London and the other continuing their studies in the US. Obviously, the events of the past year have made it extremely difficult for us to see each other, which has unfortunately meant we’ve missed out on celebrating some significant life events, such as 21st birthdays and university graduations. It’s been very tough and sadly I know many people are in the same position.
We use video chat to stay connected, so I’m very grateful we live in a time when we have access to this kind of technology. And despite missing some of those big milestones, I’m incredibly proud of my children and their achievements.
As for the future, it’s great to see a light at the end of the tunnel as vaccination rates increase here in Australia. I look forward to a time when we can reunite with family overseas and enjoy celebrations like Father’s Day together.”
We’d like to wish all the dads out there a very happy Father’s Day from all of us at National Dental Care and DB Dental! (And if dad’s due for a dental check-up, remind him to book an appointment at his local National Dental Care or DB Dental practice!).