Sometimes life can feel like the only purpose for a Dad is to donate sufficient DNA to create life and then head off into the employment stratosphere to keep the money rolling in. Well perhaps at one time, however this is not that time even though we know families are often working harder and longer to create a lifestyle and then don’t have time to enjoy it.
So why do we need Dad’s? A couple of quick thoughts – who is going to provide the example of a safe caring respectful man so that our son’s know how to grow into one and our daughters know how to recognise one if we are never involved? Children will go looking for that example elsewhere, so are you happy if they turn to other males in the family for advice and guidance? My guess is you would walk across hot coals for your child which is part of the reason you are working so hard to create this great life in the first place. So why would you want them to seek their ideas of Dad from someone else?
Did you know that many children report that their favourite memory is when they did something with Dad? You notice I used the words ‘did something’ not received something like a new game. Don’t get me wrong children like gifts just as adults do, however the gift of you is often seen by children as the greatest gift. Reading bed time stories, taking them on picnics or trips to the beach where you are fully involved not just sitting around watching. Yes, I know it can feel good to sit after a long week however children hear through action not just words. When it comes to children it really is true that ‘actions speak louder than words’.
Some of you reading will be thinking but what about Mum, surely she is just as important. No question and Mum’s will often talk about how much time they invest in family, however we know that Dad’s provide a different style of parenting that sometimes might be a little more rough and tumble. This is really good for co-ordination and long term emotional resilience as children learn to test their limits. Children also learn more by being able to compare the different way Dad does something and the way Mum does the same thing.
Most importantly Dad’s and Mum’s whether they live in the same house or different houses create their child’s parenting team. Like any team, every member needs to play together otherwise they will lose the game. Coaches encourage players to think independently, exploit gaps in the field while reminding the other players to always be on the lookout to support each other, react quickly and make the goal.
Life would have us believe that we have to be busy and there always seems to be a list of things to do.
When you make your list, remember to make the first item ‘enjoy my children and their place in our family’. Tell them you love them with your words and spend time to just enjoy being Dad.
Remember you will be Dad until your last breath. What memories do you want your children to have to pass onto your grandchildren?