Three Things a Father Can Do in the Midst of the Coronavirus

4 April 2020

3.9 MINS

If you are a Dad, it is hard not to feel a bit overwhelmed at the present moment. The coronavirus news seems to beat down at us from every quarter.

Our children and our wives are looking to us for leadership in the midst of our current situation. What is our response to them?

Firstly, we need to keep the saw sharp. Who is the saw in this analogy? You are the saw. So how do you keep yourself sharp?

Well firstly, you have to make your own health a priority. Eat the right food. Keep your body moving. Get plenty of sleep. Re-read last week’s newsletter, 10 Keys to Build Your Immune System Amidst the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Let me deal with one of those important keys to build your immune system in a personal way.


Keeping your body moving in a proactive way is huge part of keeping your immunity up. Sadly, my gym is closed because of the coronavirus, and most likely, so is yours.

We have been walking more — at least my wife has — and yes, some extra push-ups as well. Even then we weren’t keeping up. Really missing that group boxing exercise on Monday afternoons.

The good news is, I have a proactive daughter-in-law who bought two pairs of boxing gloves and pads at a bargain basement price. Sometimes you just need a bit of outside inspiration.

The really great news is, we had two couples doing boxing routines on our front lawn on Monday, and yes, we worked up a sweat.

Even better, I did boxing with my two-year-old grandson. He loved it, but then again, he is very physical. He sure packs a punch!

Our four-year-old and six-year-old grandchildren also did boxing with their own mum and dad.

The family that boxes together stays together. The endorphins kicked in and everybody was happier for it.

So, what is the moral of the story? You have to find creative ways to keep the saw sharp. You moving, and your family moving, is a huge part of that!

Secondly, to quote Paul Lewis, “A father’s words are like a thermostat that sets the temperature in the house.” If you are talking doom and gloom, your children will talk gloom and doom. You have to lead with your words.

In the mornings, I have the tendency to be a bit of a grump and a little bit non-communicative.

Thankfully, I realised this before my children got too old. So, I tried to be positive with my words, and ask them questions like how did you sleep or how are you feeling?

So instead of being self-centric, I tried to be other-centric. Instead of being grumpy, I decided to be happy. As least as happy as I could be at that time in the morning.

Guess what, it worked, and in the process, I became happier too. Are you happy when you whistle, or does whistling make you happy? Both statements are true.

Lauren Miller has proved this in her own life in an article titled “To relieve stress, just start whistling“. It’s time in the midst of this difficult season to prove it in your own family.

The third point is related to the first two. You have to be the family laugh leader. Let me put it another way: you have to be the king of Dad Jokes.

Rob Kemp, in an article about dad jokes, says this:

Dad jokes are seen as the lowest form of wit, but they’re actually a vital part of the father-child bond.

‘Dad, can you give me a lift?’ ‘Sure son, you’re a talented kid, and me and mum are so proud of ya!’

A video from Nickelodeon, commemorating Father’s Day in Australia and featuring the ‘Survivors of Dad Jokes’, (above) highlights how the pun-loaded paternal instinct isn’t unique to British fathers.

The clip, produced in the style of a public service announcement, clearly struck a chord: it has been viewed over 10 million times. (Facebook & YouTube)

Indeed, dad jokes are a worldwide phenomenon, it seems. They’re not easy to define – but when you hear one you know it.

Often inflicted upon a captive – some might say incarcerated – audience, Dad’s corny comedy is almost always followed by groans or eye-rolling silence, as opposed to fits of giggles. (The one exception, of course, is the protagonist – who ends every joke guffawing at his own comic genius.)

‘Dad, I’m hungry.’ ‘Hello Hungry, I’m Dad!’

Our children are, at first, unwitting harvesters of Dad jokes. Dad’s perceived quick wit and deft delivery gets a positive response – albeit from a four-year-old – which prompts the old man to become even more of a pundamentalist.


You know what you have to do this week?

Number one: Move your body more and get you family moving too!

Number two: Don’t be a grump like me. Be happy and stay positive in your words.

Number Three: Share the ‘Survivors of Dad Jokes’ video with your children. Even if they have seen it before. They need to see it again.

You might be the only one laughing, but you might just put a smile on your children’s faces. Even if they are laughing at you, it’s good they are laughing!

Much Laughter,
Warwick Marsh

PS: The coronavirus is proving a huge challenge for us as Dads who love our families. To help you meet that challenge, we are organising a zoom roundtable for Dads called the”Dads4Kids Date with Destiny.”


We want to resource you to get through the challenges ahead. We want to help you get through and get your family through the very difficult days that lie ahead.

The Zoom roundtable for dads will commence at 8PM AEST on Thursday night, 9 April 2020.

It will be delivered by Zoom via the web. Please click this link to get your login details and reserve your spot at the historic “Dads4Kids Date with Destiny”. Space is limited, so to avoid disappointment, BOOK NOW!

[Photo by Alvin Balemesa on Unsplash]

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