Blog Post – My fathers and Me – June 13, 2014
This Sunday is Father’s Day, and as always, it is a good time to look back and look forward at fatherhood, in my own case. I try to be a good dad, especially considering that I am primary caregiver, and I do think a lot about what that means. I have a slightly skewed perspective on manhood and fatherhood (which are not related in the slightest, in my opinion).
1. A father should be there for his children
Any father that sees anything other than family time as a priority is derelict in his duties. Whether you are working or a stay-at-home dad, if your family does not come first, then you have failed as a parent. Your kids need to know you as a dad, not as the guy who works to pay for everything or the guy who is tired all the time because he is “providing”. If you are not providing time for your children, you are not providing, plain and simple.
2. A father is the emotional center of the family
I am a firm believer that a father guides the emotions of a family. I think the mother is the operator of the family, but I think the father controls which direction the emotional state is going. I know from my own experience, we tend to be more light-hearted and very loving, sensitive to a fault and over-anxious. Yes, that is me! But when it comes to our practicality, our goal-setting, and our calendar, that is all my wife. The complicated dance is different in every family, but it is important to note that more often than not, a family’s emotional state tends to follow the father’s (in my humble experience).
3. A father is his kid’s greatest cheerleader
Win or lose, it is your responsibility to be a great cheerleader, even when you have to use losing as a teachable moment. This includes schoolwork and play with friends. You can teach a mountain full of self-esteem by simply staying positive and being a cheerleader through any adversity. The stereotypical “dad” behavior is to come down hard on your children, but that doesn’t do any good in the long run. You want your kids to respect you as a person, not live in fear of disappointing you. Being a cheerleader even during adversity teaches that a “real man” is always on your side, a great trait to teach a son or a daughter.
4. A father is a lover
I admit it this readily, I love life. I love my family. I love my wife from every fiber of my being. I love my son with own quote, “the fiery passion of a thousand burning sons.” ™ I learned this from my father and grandfather, and I think it is a vital trait to teach either a son or a daughter. Fathers have to remember, you are what your sons look up to and what your daughters want to marry. My son will always yearn to be the type of man who always loves life, and will look to find a partner that he can love infinitely. Life is just more rewarding when love is your centerpiece.
To all you dads out there, keep it real and remain the awesome fathers that you are! Happy Father’s Day!