A Call For Fathers

Dads, please let me encourage you to change some things in your life. A recent University study found that the average father in America spends less than sixty seconds per day in conversations with his children!

The actual number was 47 seconds per day.

How in the world does that happen? Certainly we fathers love our children and want the best for them. So what does this study tell us about the focus of our investment in the lives of our children? Are we too focused on our work? Are we too focused on our paychecks?

What's with us men? Have we as fathers come to think that our kids really just need our money? I sure hope not.

Our children need us to look them in the eyes and talk with them. We need to actually be involved in the lives of our children and teens. We need to actively raise them, teach them, and shape their character and morals and values. We need to do these things on purpose, with a plan, with a focus. Parenting is a "hands on" activity.

So, spend time with your kids. Be available for your kids. Make your kids a major priority in your life. Protect your family. Be involved in your family.

Look at your personal definition of "success." My definition has become, "The progressive realization of moral, virtuous, or Godly goals."

Obviously this definition has little to do with how much money I earn, or how much status I attain in my profession. It has little to do with my children becoming sports stars or validictorians (although they are both). Success has to do with character, relationships, and spiritual growth.

So fathers, please take the time to teach your children. Be role models for your teens. And spend more than 47 seconds each day in conversation with your children.

Douglas Cowan, Psy.D., is a family therapist who has been working with ADHD children and their families since 1986. He is the clinical director of the ADHD Information Library's family of seven web sites, including http://www.newideas.net, helping over 350,000 parents and teachers learn more about ADHD each year. Dr. Cowan also serves on the Medical Advisory Board of VAXA International of Tampa, FL., is President of the Board of Directors for KAXL 88.3 FM in central California, and is President of NewIdeas.net Incorporated.

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