Skip to main content
Celebrating Dedicated and Devoted dads - Part 4 - All Woman - Jamaica Observer
All Woman

Celebrating Dedicated and Devoted dads - Part 4

 

Ricardo Dystant, chief of digital transformation and special projects, JN Bank

Children: Joshua, five (six in October) and Jazmyne, two (three in December)

Ricardo Dystant says it has been an interesting journey, given the impact of the pandemic, having to shift gears to navigate his roles as a dad and a professional this year, especially when it comes to homeschooling.

“As an adjustment, my wife and I have had to start the day earlier, putting the children as priority and still maintaining a “balancing act” with all other commitments,” he says.

“Some days are perfect and go as planned, while others are chaotic. For example, online learning comes with many challenges, from power outages to unstable Internet connection or computer malfunction. Notwithstanding, we are very grateful, and I believe we have gotten through most of it unscathed.”

No doubt, the pandemic would have made him spend more time with his children over the past year plus, but patience and the art of negotiation are the life lessons he has taken from the experience.

“I'm also a believer that you are never too old to learn. When I'm sitting in my son's English classes, I'm reminded of the fundamental rules of the English language, such as the long sounding “o” or “a” with the use of the magical “e” at the end, such as joke and bake. I really have to give the teachers props for their teaching techniques,” he shares.

There is one word to describe his daily work schedule now, especially that the children are involved.

“Hectic! We start as early as 5:00 am, to begin the morning routine with the kids, then exercise and start my meetings at 8:00 am. During their breaks, I check on them. Luckily, they have started face-to-face classes, so my wife drops them off in the mornings and I pick them up in the afternoons.”

In describing himself as a dad now, compared to the man he was in 2019, Dystant says he now has more respect for teachers, is more appreciative of the work they do, and he has also become more patient.

Asked what's the biggest change that has happened in his professional life, and as a dad, because of the pandemic, he says it has been a change in his job function and title, which was changed from chief, Channels to chief, Digital Transformation and Special Projects.

“As a dad, I have had to find ways to create and maintain balance, while still ensuring the children's needs are fully met. This would certainly not be possible without my wife's constant support,” he says.

This dedicated and devoted dad believes every family is unique and one must decide what is priority and stay committed to that goal.

“I always try my best to ensure activities are completed, but I know it can be challenging, whether it's their extracurricular activities, homework or just spending time together. I also try to ensure there is a balance, so family time and fun activities are planned together,” he says. 

 

Gareth Andrew Webb, customer support manager, Huawei Jamaica

Children: Czarina, 11; Shari, 18; Kimberly, 22 

How have you had to shift gears to navigate your roles as a dad and a professional this year?

I had to be home school monitor, tutor, educator, mediator, health and safety advisor, transporter. 

No doubt, the pandemic would have made you spend more time with your kids over the past year plus. What's one parenting/life lesson that you've taken from the experience?

I have learned more about how my youngest daughter (and her associated generation) operates. I took the time to discover the best ways to motivate as well as keep her in check. For my older daughters I have done my best to educate them and teach them life skills as they enter adulthood. 

What's your daily work schedule like, and how are your kids incorporated?

I am up by 7:00 am depending on what time I retire the night before. I work most days until after 9:00 pm. I set time slots for interaction and honour the appointments as best as I can. Occasionally, work causes significant delays in meeting committed interaction time. My daughters are understanding and are supportive of my challenges and lifestyle. 

How would you describe yourself now as a dad, compared to the man you were in 2019?

I am a very proud dad today. In 2019 I was a concerned dad. My older daughters have proven that they have absorbed the lessons I taught them in life and are now fit and ready to take on the world. 

What's the biggest change that has happened in your professional life, and as a dad, because of the pandemic?

I used the chaos and limitations of movement to carve out time to do so self-study and acquire certification that I wanted to get for several years. As a dad the activities I took on resulted in more interaction with my eldest daughter. 

What would you say makes you qualified to be described as a dedicated and devoted dad?

I have had a consistent, positive influence on each my daughters for their entire life. I have made the older girls a promise to remain a significant part of their lives until they start their own families and choose to alter the special relationship that we share. 

 

Kevin Dixon, Country Controller/Head of Finance, Nestle Jamaica Ltd

Children: Husani, 21, Malik, 15, Nia, 14. 

Kevin Dixon describes as a balancing act, the way he has had to shift gears to navigate his roles as a dad and a professional this year.

“[It's] not much different from what it was prior to the pandemic. What has now changed is the time I now spend with my children while working from home. I am now readily available to them and have had to address their concerns and questions even while attending meetings. As a result my intuition has to be sharp to pick up on issues that may be of concern to them and to not let the opportunity pass to address or give guidance and counselling. With three children of totally different personalities I have had to learn how to juggle between the personalities and their needs. Having a supportive wife also greatly helps,” he said.

He said, having spent more time with his children one parenting life lesson he's learnt is to know what your children's interests are, and be a part of it.

“It helps to bring you closer to them. I've even recently discovered how truly diverse my children's' musical palette is, often entertaining themselves with some of my favourite hits from the 70s and 80s. As such, I can share music with them and speak about my days growing up and my memories from those songs. I have managed to use some of those experiences to teach life lessons,”he added.

“My eldest son, Husani's interest in martial arts and fitness has helped to motivate me to start exercising. My second son, Malik's, interest in becoming an entrepreneur and accountant has surprised me that he wants to join my profession. This allows me to guide my conversations on his future plans.

“My daughter's interest in the arts and the plans she already has for university already at second form has also helped to guide me on the conversations I have with her on her future.”

Dixon said his days, now that his children are incorporated, consist of a number of meetings – and “working remotely includes sharing space with my children who are also in the living room attending classes so they are always in my sight”.

“As such I at times play the role of principal, teacher, prefect, guidance counsellor and father,” he said.

“I would describe myself now as a dad who is now aware of his children's personalities, likes and dislikes. As such I am now better capable of having open discussions with them.”

Asked about the biggest change that has happened in his professional life, and as a dad, because of the pandemic, Dixon said joining Nestle Jamaica at the height of the pandemic as Head of Finance would have been a major professional change.

“Nestle's work from home policy during the pandemic has allowed me to spend more time with my children and has afforded me the opportunity to know my children better. Prior to that the commute from and to work, being in an office and on the road away from my children distracted me from valuable time with my family. COVID may have been a blessing in disguise as it has now allowed me to spend more time with my family.”

Regarding what makes him qualified to be described as a dedicated and devoted dad, he says these traits are:

1. Being an example to my children by exemplifying a man who is committed and devoted to God and his family.

2. Love and respect for my wife and mother of my children. The Bible says a man must love his wife as Christ loves the church. This relationship ensures happy children who will some day grow up to be responsible adults.

3. Being a protector and provider. 

 

Dave Garcia, group general counsel and corporate secretary, NCB Financial Group Limited

Children: Three children – two teenagers and one pre-teen. 

How have you had to shift gears to navigate your roles as a dad and a professional this year?

I have had to adjust to the two taking place in the same space and to less defined time slots demanded by each, so being adaptable has been essential. 

No doubt, the pandemic would have made you spend more time with your kids over the past year and a half. What's one parenting/life lesson that you've taken from the experience?

It's important to be patient and to understand what is happening from my children's perspective. The pandemic is happening to all of us, but we are all reacting in different ways. Each child is processing the experience differently from me and from the other. The instruction to “train up a child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6) is as relevant now as it was before, but wisdom needs to be exercised in how it is applied in this time and always, for each child. 

What's your daily work schedule like, and how are your kids incorporated?

My work schedule is, and has to be, very malleable. Many aspects are time-sensitive and unpredictable. I generally start the day with devotions and exercise, then breakfast for the youngest (the others are pretty independent with that meal) and any school drop offs. Work starts after that unless there's something needing to be done earlier, but sometimes I start responding to short messages and e-mails before. I tend to have many meetings. (My team one year gave me a certificate to recognise the “achievement”!) I aim for a short break between meetings and at least a brief lunch break (preferably without doing work). In the evenings, I look to finish in time for my wife and I to prepare dinner together. While going through the day I am tech support for children learning at home and am available to discuss any other problems or for brief chats. Later in the day, I check to make sure the youngest is completing/submitting his assignments on time and to provide any support he may need, and have any other conversations with the children. 

How would you describe yourself now as a dad, compared to the man you were in 2019?

I am more flexible in many ways – eg with bedtime and the usual routines of life pre-pandemic. 

What's the biggest change that has happened in your professional life, and as a dad, because of the pandemic?

Working from home and schooling from home. That's been a big and difficult adjustment. I am even more involved in my children's school life, since more of school is taking place at home. I'm also more involved in play time, especially for the youngest, as there is less opportunity for him to physically play with friends in this season. 

What would you say makes you qualified to be described as a dedicated and devoted dad?

My wife says so, and if I were not, she would certainly tell me!

READ:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Comments

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper · your email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
Polls