A True Father, A Covenant Dad
We all know what a father is but to be true is to embrace integrity – to be loyal to the calling of being a “Dad”. We have to be true to both ourselves and our families. Though I write this from the perspective of a dad, it applies equally in every way to moms, too.
You don’t have to be a superhero to be a good dad… but your efforts in being a good dad will make you the greatest hero in your child’s eyes. It is an investment that lasts a lifetime and even if the time spent & patience often required seem to go unappreciated at the moment, the goal is to grow inside as an individual and help to empower our children to become confidant, honest, happy and successful people.
Does it sometimes seem hard to keep promises to your children? Your child may not know the definition of a covenant, but when you don’t live up to your word it is heartbreaking to them, whether they’re a toddler or teenager. As resilient as kids are, they do remember when a grown-up didn’t do what they said they would. The pressures of keeping your word to your kids can at times seem even heavier than the same pressures at your work place. Learning how to manage your time, planning and being realistic in your goals will help when it comes to spending true, quality time with your children. It isn’t hard once you make it a habit to always follow through on what you’ve promised your child.
Stuff Happens. We’ve all probably heard that said in a different way, too. The short and tall of it all is that whether we get a flat tire, have to work overtime, or end up short on money one weekend when we had plans… unexpected things can and do happen to throw a monkey wrench into the best-made plans. It never seems to fail that the bigger our plans for the weekend, the more complicated a problem arises.
As grown-ups it is hard enough sometimes to deal with the nuisance of our schedule changing, having to fix the car or a faucet or any of those things that “come up”. Our children do not understand these challenges the way we do… and no matter how we would love for them to have the understanding that an adult does – just for a couple of minutes, they are not going to have the same kind of perspective for years.
So, when we have an awesome outing planned for the family – or maybe it was simply a DVD at home with a bowl of ice cream – and we end up getting called in to work on Saturday, what do we do? How do we handle the disappointed and sad voices, along with the forlorn looks and sometimes even tears when the kids find out that plans have changed?
As our kids get into their adolescent years, their reactions to these situations obviously change and it may seem even harder to communicate with them about plans changing. Something important to keep in mind is not to be reactive to our young teen’s reaction since that only serves as a catalyst for an argument and heated emotions. Remember that nobody wins in a battle of wills. Make a true effort to understand how this affects your teen. Remember when you were that age?
Be Honest. Always.
The most effective thing that you can do is to talk with your child and let them know what is going on when something comes up or things don’t go as planned. Children don’t need an entire doctoral dissertation as to the details but taking a little time to communicate with them in a genuine way actually earns their respect and teaches them the very same. Sure, it’s not always going to avoid or prevent the before mentioned tears that may come with disappointment but it will set the stage for open communication and honesty with our kids. They will pick up on this positive example if you’re consistent in exercising it.
Using the very basic building blocks of sincere listening, honesty and communication will go a long distance toward building a strong, positive character and a solid sense of trust with our kids.
What are YOUR thoughts on parenting and what’s important? Do you have a story to share? Leave your comments, ideas & opinions below.