Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Parental Marathon

Having kids is the first step. I remember being scared of all the things that could go wrong before the birth. When the birth is over and everyone id fine, such elation and relief.

Then the marathon begins, keeping up with the behaviors, learning the language and trying to get enough rest. My wife read books and articles on child development so we knew what was coming. That helped an awful lot. My biggest concern was to make sure that they were happy. I didn't want to have them worrying at all about things at home. That was to be a safe haven, a refuge from the outside world.

Having two daughters I learned that my presence and involvement in their lives was very important. My wife and I would teach them about the world, I would teach them about all things men. To do that I would 1) have to be there. Be involved, engaged, an active part of their lives. Do things with them, go places and communicate with them. 2) somehow put aside my fears, anxieties and self-doubts and lead by example. They would observe and 'catch' what being a man meant by watching me day to day.

Dads, if you are there for your daughters, be there in body and mind. Don't be afraid to be vulnerable. Mistakes will happen, just keep going. Be involved in their world. Let them know you love them unconditionally and they are important to you. Giving them that knowledge will carry them far in life. When you give them the love they need growing up, they won't go looking for it from another man when they're older.

I hope this is an encouragement along the way.

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