Monday, June 19, 2006

Father's Day

Father's Day celebrates the importance of a Father. And Fathers are important. For those who have ambivalent relationships with their Dad or worse, no relationship, yesterday may have been tough. For those in this sad, latter category, I'll pass along some wisdom given by a college advisor. He said, "You can't change the past. You can only change the future. Try to make your life the life you had always wanted."

What do kids want in a Father? Here are some things (from a kid's point of view):

  1. Love Mom--be nice to her, support her and show us by your example how to treat her
  2. Involvement--be there, leave your cell phone and Blackberry behind sometimes
  3. Spend time with only me, doing what I like, even if you don't like it
  4. Set clear, firm boundaries--don't come out of nowhere with an expectation, don't be a mush and let me off the hook when I should be held responsible, have expectations
  5. Defend me--ask my side before getting angry, don't let someone hurt me if you can help it, come to my defense once you know what happened
  6. Encourage me--constant criticism is discouraging and makes me feel like giving up. Look for what I do right.
  7. Show me how a man should be--help around the house, teach me your hobby, demonstrate strength and kindness
It is my belief that Fathers teach their children about how to view the world. They teach this whether they are present or not. If they abandon their children, they teach their child that the world is untrustworthy and dangerous and lonely. Father's who are present physically in the home teach children how to deal with adversity, can encourage taking well-reasoned risks, and can demonstrate worldviews.

Happy Father's Day to all the men who work hard being a loving, involved Daddy!

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