Let the record reflect that as I am writing, at this very moment, my two boys are running in and out of each other’s rooms, screaming, slamming doors, and wrestling in the hallway. I, on the other hand, am silently cursing in my head. I. Cannot. Deal. With. This. Right. Now. How ironic that I am settling down to write a piece in my parenting blog, and I am absolutely not capable of parenting one ounce in this very moment. Happens more often than you think! I digress…..
Father’s Day is today. Let me first wish a very happy Father’s Day to everyone fulfilling the role of FATHER in the life of a child or an adult. As a mom, therapist, and general analyst of life, I often contemplate the very crucial role that fathers play in the lives of so many. Fathers, sadly in my opinion, are overlooked. Mothers (generally speaking) tend to get the props, the accolades, the fanfare. Often, dads don’t necessarily see how vital they are in the lives of their children. So, for Father’s Day, I decided to create a list of things that I thought important for fathers to fully know and understand about the people they are “fathering”.
1. Dad, I want you to know I watch and take in everything you do. You are my hero and role model. I am looking at how you live and what you do each day, and I am learning from it and filing it away as a template for how to live my own life. I see how you treat others, how you speak to and care for the special people in your life. I hear how you resolve conflicts with others and how you manage when things don’t go your way. I especially pay attention to how you interact and show affection and love to my mom/dad. I will take note and follow your lead with my own relationships in the future.
2. Dad, I want you to know that I love when you spend time with me. As your child, I really don’t need things, I just need you. I need time with you – time to laugh, to play, to argue, to love, to question, to discuss, to wrestle, to ask your opinion, to just be.
3. Dad, I want you to know that I love when you teach me new things. There is so much I still don’t know and so much that I am looking for you to teach me. What is most important though, is that when you teach, you let me make mistakes. I need to you to let go of the bike and let me stumble and tumble – even if you are afraid. Only then will I learn. I need you not to criticize as I learn. I need only your encouragement – even if I don’t do well. If I can’t feel your support as I am learning, I will not have the tools to try again.
4. Dad, I want you to know that I love seeing the joy you have for me all over your face. I watch every. single. reaction. you.make. Don’t forget I am tuned in to you. If you are happy with me, I see it on your face. When you are full of pride with me, I can tell. If your are frustrated or disappointed with me, I see it on your face. You may try to turn away and think I’m not looking, but I am. How I feel about myself is greatly influenced by how you feel about me and what you communicate through your words, expressions and tone.
5. Dad, I want you to know I love knowing that you love me fully for who I am. What means more to me than anything is to know that you love me. I mean, not just love me, but love me for who and what I am. For everything I believe in and all of my passions, strengths, and challenges. With every obstacle I face in my life, knowing you always have my back means the world.
Dads, you matter so very much in the lives of your children. Keep up the great work and Happy Father’s Day!