Parenting, What's On Our Mind

Have we found the world’s best dad?

Melissa Imbesi by Melissa Imbesi
February 21st, 2016

Ok, it’s a big call, but we think we might have just found the most beautiful dad. Ever.

Nathan Bond is an artist and single dad raising his young daughter, Sadie. The two have a beautiful ritual of painting each other’s nails – a tradition they have had since Sadie was two years old.

Here’s what he says about his thoughts on parenting his daughter:

“As a single dad, raising a really strong, confident woman is super important for me, and making sure she’s got great role models but also being a great role model is a primary goal.”

While Nathan’s colourful nails draw many comments from society, this is a man comfortable enough in his own skin to rock those painted tips with confidence. Moreover, Nathan wants to teach his young daughter, which she says in her own words, that “there’s no boy colour or girl colour” and that gender stereotypes should not exist.

When my daughter was in three-year-old kinder, the teacher asked parents to come and spend some time in the classroom to share their skills with the young and impressionable little boys and girls. A radiologist, a vet and a nurse all attended, telling the kids all about their jobs and bringing in a heap of interesting stuff like x-rays and stethoscopes.

Me? I was stumped for ideas, so I ended up taking in my stockpile of nail polishes and offered to paint all those tiny little fingertips in any colour they wanted- and the kids went NUTS for it. If I’m completely honest, I was totally surprised to see that the boys seemed even more enthusiastic than the girls. They climbed all over me, shouting “me next, me next!” with the most requested colour for boys being red, or “all the colours of the rainbow.” Those little boys were seriously stoked with their fancy fingers and I loved seeing how much enjoyment they got from them.

The next day when I dropped my daughter off, I noticed that over half of the boys had their polish removed. Was it because THEY didn’t want their polish on any more or because they were told by someone that “nail polish is for girls?” I’ll never know because I didn’t ask, but I really hoped that it was the former.

It’s amazing to me how quickly kids get a sense of what constitutes “boys toys” and “girls stuff.” Even my own son, who is five, is adamant that he “doesn’t want to play with girly fings” and when he catches me watching him play with his sister’s Barbies, it’s like he’s been caught doing something that deserves jail time.

I’m not sure how much “girl” and “boy” activities are just part of the natural differences between the sexes or how much has been ingrained in them (and us) from birth. Either way, I am sure that the world needs more parents like Nathan Bond – because raising happy kids is hard enough, but ones that are self-assured enough to live and play the way THEY want? That’s pretty extraordinary.

What lessons did you learn from your dad?