Dads! Learn to miss your children!

Child: Say something,fatherless-chalkboard-300x224

Father: I’m giving up on you.

Child: I’ll be the one if you want me to? Anywhere, I would have followed you! Say something!

Father: I’m giving up on you!

Such a sad dialogue, full of raw emotion, a desperate desire for belonging and also a cry for help. Perhaps not the direction a Great Big World and Christina meant the interaction to follow, but to me, it sounds like the interaction between a father and son/daughter as they attempt to find value and worth in the eyes of that father, and as with many, fail to find it because that parent may not care or perhaps is just worn out and needs a break. Be careful though, while needing space is important and necessary, some things are taught and others are caught, not by what we hear, but rather by the way things are said.

Many Fathering advocates will come up with a bold list of moral and societal challenges, all of which fall squarely at the feet of dads who missed the mark, or worse, never even tried. A quick search will find the ills for which these dads are held accountable: Poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, physical and emotional illnesses, educational under achievement, crime, sexual activity and teen pregnancy fill only 6 categories.

“But that’s not me” you might say, “I am not that dad!” You may be correct. The question now becomes, what type of dad are you? Are you actively ensuring your kids don’t fall prey to statistics? What ripples does our subtle indifference cause in the lives of our children? We can forget how parents are looked to for support, that gentle smile a subtle glance in their direction. All these act as a natural steroid to our children’s abilities, coaxing them, encouraging them, believing in them.

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