Stu Speaks
Stu Speaks

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Moments that matter

Sun, 2010-01-10 17:08

Being a single father you realize how lucky you had it before the separation. I don’t mean the relationship I had with my partner but the access every day to my children. When you’re married you find lots to do that doesn’t involve spending time with the kids. You are busy, you have work to do, there is something “else” to do.

“I’ll be there in a minute…” is a far to common phrase that resonates through too many households.

I am granted access to my children for a total of 66 hours once every two weeks. When you take out sleeping, 26 hours and the drive 12 hours, I have the opportunity to spend 26 hours with my kids. That’s less then 3 days per month of “face time”.

Somewhere over history our court system has deemed this an adequate amount of time to build and maintain a quality father, child relationship. Well I am here to say that it really isn’t. It’s actually completely the opposite. Since there is not much chance of this changing and parents being considered equal, fathers that do care need to create “MTM’s”, moments that matter.

Running a camp I get to work with so many young staff that come from single parent homes. I’ve asked many of them about how they remember growing up with having to live with two parents. So many have said the times they spent with their father were so amazing, or they remember those time with such clarity.

Why is that? It’s because a good single father needs to work to create so much in a very short time. It’s our job to create MTM’s every moment. If we don’t we risk being lost. It’s not a competition, it’s a responsibility.

So, last night my son and I got to enjoy a BIG MTM. I purchased two tickets at a charity auction for a Toronto Maple Leafs game and we watched them lose, it was a horrible game. The Leafs were abysmal. Here’s the thing though, our night was amazing and we created a true MTM.

The moment of clarity for me was when Matthew turned to me and said, “Dad, this is the best night of my life.”

Please understand that this is not meant to say that all fathers deserve equal access, there are many that do not. Each father is different and there needs to be less of a quick, one sided judgement. Until our courts realize that parents are of equal value and that a good father has an equal role in the upbringing of a healthy child, I will continue to find and create MTM’s for my children. I also encourage all parents not to take the time you have with your kids for granted. These days happen only once.

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  • Stu Speaks

    Students were very engaged, enthusiastic and excited. Stu is hilarious…seriously. “Humour is never a bad thing” said one student.

    ~Annalisa Varano - Vice Principal - St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School
  • Stu Speaks

    They say a great presenter “leaves them wanting more”. Well, we loved your presentation and the entire team asked me when you will be back! You are truly STUpendous!

    ~Nancy Klensch - Founder of Summit Kids
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu is an energetic, entertaining and dynamic presenter. He captures is audiences’ attention and keeps the room engaged for the entire presentation! His stories in his presentation captures everyone at different points, even the teachers!

    ~Sara Meaney - Cobourg Collegiate Institute
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu was great! Staff and students felt it really broke the anxiety in the building and we even got cupcakes today from one of the students.

    ~Carrie Rowlandson - William Aberhart High School, Calgary Alberta
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu was fantastic. There is nothing better than seeing 600 adolescents laughing their heads off. He delivers a terrific message and has the entire audience engaged, thinking, listening and most importantly laughing within seconds, and he keeps it going for over an hour. Thanks again on behalf of the Shores!!

    ~Doug Woods - Vice Principal, Nantyr Shores Secondary School
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu’s speech did exactly what I hoped it would do when I tried to bring him in: it brought the school together for a good laugh while empowering the student body to be the change they wish to see in their classroom. I feel he hit this goal perfectly.

    ~Steven Fotheringham - Oakville Trafalgar High School
  • Stu Speaks

    I really liked how the speech really just seemed like Stu was telling us funny stories, but he always related it back to the overall message. It didn’t sound like a speech at all, it was as if he was just talking to the crowd. I would say that he is excellent in connecting with the audience and keeping them entertained. There was not a two minute period in Stu’s speech were nobody was laughing. He kept us amused throughout the entire presentation. I thought he was perfect.

    ~James Palloto
  • Stu Speaks

    I would highly recommend Stu, his engaging personality was a real hook for the students and his messages were ones that many of them could identify with. The humour was great and the students shared that they enjoyed the presentation.

    ~Teresa Fowler - W.H. Croxford High School, Airdrie, Alberta
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu is personable. Students are willing to listen to him. They enjoy listening to him. He has a message, but he is also entertaining. He is fun to listen to and students don’t feel talked down to or preached at.

    ~Tanya Lacey - McKinnon Park Secondary School, Caledonia, ON
  • Stu Speaks

    I was at the OCA conference on May 6th, and I just wanted to thank you on being such a wicked keynote… you definitely put me back in the camp mindset and reminded me of what’s truly important about the up-coming summer. Once again, a job very well done.

    ~Emily Summers
  • Stu Speaks

    The students really enjoyed Stu’s humour and low-key but critical message about getting involved and getting the most out of their High School experience. I would recommend Stu as a speaker who relates well to students, is funny, and gets the message out without preaching.

    Thank you,

    ~Lynn Toye