“30 For 30″ Father’s Day Campaign 2015: Interview 2 – Jamie Rishikof, 40, Canada and the USA

Welcome to The Pixel Project’s “30 For 30″ Father’s Day Campaign 2015! In honour of Father’s Day, we created this campaign:

  • To acknowledge the vital role Dads play in families, cultures and communities worldwide.
  • To showcase good men from different walks of life who are fabulous positive non-violent male role models.

Through this campaign, we will be publishing a short interview with a different Dad on each day of the month of June.

This campaign is also part of a programme of initiatives held throughout 2015 in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign that is in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide. Donations begin at just US$10 and you can donate via the Pixel Reveal website here or the Pixel Reveal Razoo donation page here.

Our second “30 For 30″ 2015 Dad is Jamie Rishikof from Canada and the USA.


The Dad Bio

Jamie Rishikof is a clinical psychologist in private practice in the suburbs of Boston. He has owned and operated his own practice since 2006. He specialises in working with kids, teens, and parents. Jamie married Dianne (nee Scheinberg) in 2004. He became a dad in 2008 with the birth of his son, Carter, who was followed 3 years later by a daughter, Madison. Connecting with kids is an essential part of Jamie’s life and passion, and he brings that sensibility to his parenting. His children challenge him to be a better parent, and provide him with irreplaceable moments of sheer joy and wonder.

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1. What is the best thing about being a dad?

The best thing about being a dad is the mixture of emotions that comes from watching them each evolving into the person that they become. I have deeply loved them at each stage of development. In some ways, each is still the same person that they were a few years ago, with defining traits continuing and elaborating; but they are each also so different than they were just a couple of months ago, with a more distinct sense of personality. I can look back at that evolution and see a path from who they were to who they are. Yet, at the same time, they continue to surprise me. I love it as both of them continue to shake up my expectations of them. I find them to be continually charming, funny, and interesting people. While I carry some responsibility for trying to raise them well, I know so much more of that comes from their own nature, and so I feel quite fortunate and grateful.

2. A dad is usually the first male role model in a person’s life and fathers do have a significant impact on their sons’ attitude towards women and girls. How has your father influenced the way you see and treat women and girls?

My father and I have a pretty solid relationship. We share a lot of sensibilities and traits, and I know a lot of my best and worst traits echo from him. In many ways we walk similar paths, as we wrestle with similar demons and strive toward similar ideals. My parents have a pretty impressive marriage. When I was growing up, I did not understand that, because that was normal for me. But I see now that my mother was pretty outspoken and assertive for a woman of her generation. The fact that my father married her and respected her as much as he does says a lot about his treatment of women. The fact that I have such high regard for the outspoken and assertive women in my life (including the one that my wife and I are raising) says a lot about what I learned from him about gender dynamics.

3. Communities and activists worldwide are starting to recognise that violence against women is not a “women’s issue” but a human rights issue and that men play a role in stopping the violence. How do you think fathers and other male role models can help get young men and boys to take an interest in and step up to help prevent and stop violence against women?

First off, in my opinion, violence against women is primarily a male issue, since it is primarily a problem of male violent behavior.

I think there are a lot of ways that fathers and male role models carry a heavy responsibility for curbing violence against women. Obviously, not being violent towards women or condoning violence against women is important; but I think it is the subtler elements that are more challenging. Any adult relationship involves some power dynamics, some conflict, some resentment, and some plain old arguments. Moments like these are a recipe for men sending unfortunate messages to the boys who are watching. No one is at their best and most mindful when they are angry or resentful. As difficult as it may be sometimes, men need to remain cognizant of not take advantage of physical intimidation or other power manipulations when they are arguing with women. Such behavior sends a message to younger boys that when you are angry, might still makes right and it is ok to intimidate your way to make your point.