Fairul: Raising boys who accept themselves
Meet Fairul Ghani, a father of two sons, Adam and Aiden whom he proudly raises to accept themselves fully. You’ll find Fairul supporting his boys on the rugby field, wearing a pink tutu at ballet and in the music studio with their violin. Fairul shares how his Islam faith influences who he is as a man, a father and role model to his young boys.
" I can't decide whether I have my glasses on or off.
Cause I can't see you guys if I don't have it.
I'm Fairul Ghani.
I'm originally from Malaysia,
and I've lived in Wellington for the last 17 years now.
And I'm a father to Adam and Aiden."
On-screen text reads "Change is possible. Fairul's story".
"The way I am as a father is driven very much around my upbringing, my experience as a child, and my relationship with my mum and dad.
I wanted to be able to talk to my father about problems.
I grew up watching those Hollywood sitcoms, and when a child gets into
trouble and you sit down, the father sits down at the end of the show, and they sit down and dish it out and talk.
And I never had that opportunity with my father.
For me, the biggest change is I could shape and mould how I wanted to become
a father to my boys.
Basically being that safe, secure person to Adam and Aiden, create that environment where they can be comfortable and confident to talk to me about problems.
Being a father is something nobody can teach you.
You live it.
You have to experience it.
And you're not the person who has to have all the answers.
I think the most important thing for me is about being present.
Live those moments.
When they want to tell you something or share a little bit about themselves, if I'm not present and don't represent that I'm present to them.
I think that's gonna set the tone for the rest of our relationship for the rest of their lives.
What's Adam and Aiden like as young people?
They are night and day, basically.
Adam is into his performing arts.
He's a creative child.
He likes to write story books.
He likes to draw his own pictures.
Aiden is the complete opposite.
He plays rugby.
He's a lot more active, go-getter boy.
And my parenting style has to adapt to each individual personality as well.
The way I talk to Adam might be slightly different from the way I interact with
Aiden for certain things.
At the start of the year, my wife decided to pursue homeschooling for the boys.
And so I think you have a lot more ability to influence what goes into their day-to-day activities.
My relationship with my wife, it's a bedrock for the boys.
Is that relationship all rosy, all the time?
No, but that's something that I can choose to keep investing and improving on.
Adam and Aiden are really the representation of all the hard work that my wife has done.
You know, my wife and I, we've encouraged them to explore their interests and who they are and to express themselves.
I remember when Adam was about three, four, he started ballet and had an
interest in wearing tutus, and in that moment as a father, I had a choice.
Do I want to tell him no, that's not right cause boys don't wear pink tutus?
Or do I just encourage it, or just let him be?
And I chose that.
They need to go through their own journeys and figure out what are the
things that fills their cup or things that fulfill their soul.
So my job is to facilitate and encourage that.
Being a parent's not an easy job.
It's a hard job.
It's also one of the most gratifying jobs to be doing as well, because when you look at the boys and they give you that smile and happiness, or when they cry and they come to you because they want protection, they want a hug, they want reassurances.
And then you realise, you know, that's what a parent is.
This is on my CV, six years of swinging the boys.
So don't worry about not making a mistake.
We're gonna make mistakes.
In so many things in life, you know, it's not like you pick up a manual and you read it, all right, this is what good father looks like.
You know, it's practice.
You live it, you breathe it.
You're gonna make mistakes.
You're not gonna hit the nail on the head all the time.
As a parent, you persevere, you keep encouraging them so that they can be the
best versions of themselves.
Cut to a black screen. In the middle is the logo for Change is Possible. The logo is in orange and white text that reads "Change is Possible".
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