Bad Boys/Good Boys (Avoiding The Pitfalls Of Being An Insensitive Dad)

I WAS AMAZED

I could hardly believe what I was hearing. A father and his son had entered the men's room. While I was washing my hands, I listened as the father wielded a series of demanding and demeaning statements at his son as if they were swords in a battle for ... who knows what?

And all about going to the bathroom quickly!

It was the perfect victory. The enemy (the son) had been slain. The battle was won. The general had summoned his one-man army to do his bidding.

It was also totally and completely ridiculous. There was no consideration for the feelings or physical needs of the young person.

The "bad boy" had won the day -- and the bad boy was not the son.

It was the son's insensitive dad.

I WAS SADDENED AND ANGRY

This incident occurred while on vacation. I loved vacation except for one aspect: watching fathers deal with their children.

I was sad. And I was angry.

The "interesting" thing was that when I related this observation to my daughter and son-in-law, they proceeded to share with me *their* same discouragement while they were on a recent trip to a theme park.

Their message was the same:

"We had a great time. The only discouraging thing was seeing dads with their children."

I AGREE: IT'S NOT EASY

I am a father and I would be among the first to declare that raising children is not an easy task.

Parts of it are rough. Real rough.

I would also be quick to admit the times I have failed as a father.

But I do hope that no one has ever said this about me after observing my relationship with either my children or grand- children:

"We saw the most discouraging thing today.

This guy was a jerk. The way he treated those kids was awful.

No respect. No honor.

Only demands and unrealistic expectations. I tell ya, it was sad."

WE KNOW THERE IS A BETTER WAY

Let me be quick to add: all is not bad. I have seen many loving, caring fathers throughout the years. I *love* watching those types of dads relate to their children. It is one of my personal delights in life

With that in mind, I am offering a few simple suggestions for a better way: a better way for fathers to relate to their children than the two negative examples I have shared with you.

I will center my suggestions on five themes:

1. Consideration
2. Respect
3. Humility
4. Compassion
5. Love

Two comments as I transition into my suggestions:

*You will quickly discover that this will not be a long and drawn out discussion of these themes. Enjoy.

*Many of the points will be shared through using simple "affirmations" -- or descriptive comments if you please. These affirmations will help you personalize what is said.

So...

We have discussed a few of the "bad boy" characteristics.

Let's turn our attention to five characteristics of the "good boys." That is, men who are determined *not* to be thought of as "one of those insensitive dads."

CONSIDERATION

Consideration says...

"I adjust my expectations according to the needs, maturity level and emotional capabilities of the child I am relating to at the moment."

Because of the important aspects of the statement you just read, I'm going to repeat it and break it down for you.

That's my part.

Yours will be to reflect on each aspect as you read it one more time. Reflect on it through the lens of how you would have liked to be treated as a young-person-in-the-making.

"I adjust
My expectations
According to
The needs,
Maturity level
And emotional capabilities
Of the child
I am relating to
At the moment."

RESPECT

Respect says...

"I see this person entrusted to my care as one who is worthy of my honor, approval and love."

This mental stance provides for me a frame. A frame I wrap around my child *to begin with.* The child is worthy of my honor, approval and love -- from the beginning.

It is a part of the package each child should *sense* in me from "Day One" so-to-speak.

HUMILITY

Humility says...

"Because I am still learning, I give my child space and time to learn."

"Because I still fail, I forgive and support my child when he or she fails."

"Because I respond poorly when people are angry with me for reasons I do not understand, I resist all uncontrolled and self-centered anger when dealing with my child."

COMPASSION

Compassion says...

"I am a 'show and tell' person.

*I show my child I care.
*I tell my child I care."

"I strive to be gentle, not harsh."

"I care and my child senses it."

LOVE

Love says... all of the above.

A DISCLAIMER

Let me make something perfectly clear: children can -- and do -- hurt their parents.

Good parents. Parents who in a very real sense lay down their lives for their kids and still get kicked in the guts while trying to help their children be happy and succeed in life.

These parents know a special kind of pain. A pain that no one really wants to understand. I salute those parents.

You may be one of them.

So my disclaimer is...

*I realize this is a two-sided fence

*My purpose is not to add guilt to a conscience already plagued by the "Why's" of their child's bad attitudes and behavior -- in spite of hundreds of hours of trying to do what's right.

Rather, if you happen to be one of those parents -- and especially a dad since that is the topic of these comments -- I want you to hear these words:

"I thank you for trying."

I thank you for trying and for the lonely hours you have spent that only you, and possibly your spouse -- and God -- knows about...

The tears. The heartache and the pain that goes on and on as each new report surfaces about some action or attitude your child has displayed."

For those times, tears and heartache -- I reflect to you my appreciation. And I'm sure I represent only one of many voices that would echo the same to you if they could.

Therefore, review these comments and take note of each positive thing you have done. Take a bow. You deserve it."

Yours for a day filled with beautiful moments in time,

Lee

© Lee Wise All rights reserved. You may freely distribute this article. The copyright and this resource box must be included.

How much is A Beautiful Moment In Time worth to you? Stop by and see! Go to -> http://www.motivation-for-daily-living.net

In The News:


WTNH Connecticut News (press release)

Parenting to raise healthy, happy eaters
WTNH Connecticut News (press release)
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Many parents are unaware that their parenting style has implications for their child's diet quality and weight. But depending on the style, their child is five times as likely to become overweight or obese. This morning Susie ...


AL.com

Bo knows parenting
AL.com
The featured speaker for the Baldwin County Drug Court Foundation's eighth annual fundraiser on Thursday night couldn't speak about drug court from personal experience, saying, "That's something I never had to go through." But the folks who gathered at ...


Mashable

Youtuber solves all your parenting problems with a really bad idea ...
Mashable
We live in a digital age, so forget about the struggles of a stroller or carrier. Let your baby reach for the stars and discover new heights...literally. Youtuber ...

and more »

Co-parenting after divorce is possible
The Hillsdale Daily News
As a combat veteran who served our nation for 10-years in the United States Army, Sept. 11 means many things to me. I typically spend a majority of my day on Sept. 11 every year watching documentaries about the tragedies that unfolded on that day in ...


Rural Parenting: Opioid addiction more prevalent in rural areas
The Daily News Online
This month marks National Opioid Recovery Month. As a country, we are in the midst of a terrible opioid epidemic. Both in my position as a social worker, working with exploited and vulnerable women and families, and in my personal experiences, I have ...


HuffPost

Bill Murray's Parenting Wisdom Is Spot On
HuffPost
The actor and comedian has six sons ― 35-year-old Homer, 32-year-old Luke, 24-year-old Cal, 21-year-old Jackson, 20-year-old Cooper and 16-year-old Lincoln. In honor of his birthday on Thursday, we've rounded up some of his best parenting tips and ...


Axios

New parenting trend: texting kids from inside the house
Axios
New parenting trend: texting kids from inside the house. A mother and daughter prefer to text each other inside the home. Photo: Charles Rex Arbogast / AP. "Some parents, spouses, teenagers ... are finding that texting [each other inside the same house ...


Washington Post

Parenting books won't end your anxiety. Here's what to do instead ...
Washington Post
Q: As a general rule, I manage my parenting anxiety by not reading parenting books. It's too much contradictory information, and I get nuts about it. I've found that ...

and more »

HuffPost

Mom's Hilarious Saga Of A Forgotten Poster Board Sums Up ...
HuffPost
In parenting, sometimes it's the tiniest moments that sum up the joys of having children ... or how much they make you want to bang your head against the wall.

and more »

U.S. News & World Report

What Parenting Can – and Cannot – Do
U.S. News & World Report
The dangers of abusive and neglectful parenting are now well-known. Children who don't experience unconditional love nor have their needs met on a consistent basis are likely to struggle with relationships. Such deprivation affects the development of ...

Google News

Parenting Your Teenager: Teens and Violence

I have a bit of a different response than most... Read More

Children Who Talk to Angels

What do you do when your child begins talking to... Read More

School Issues: When Should an ADHD Child Be Held Back In School?

This can be a very complicated issue, so I don't... Read More

Life Stuck In Fast Forward

the woes of being a parent of an ADHD child.....Like... Read More

10 Universal Laws for Parents of Teens

1 "Law of Belonging": The greatest need of teenagers (after... Read More

Legacy to Your Children

John Bishop's Goal Setting for Students.comLegacy to Your ChildrenIt's 6:30... Read More

Why Mother?s Day is Important For Children

Mother's Day is important for children.This Mother's Day take note... Read More

Five Tips for Successful Grandparenting

1. Boundaries are necessary for control and safety.All children need... Read More

Gifted Children - Getting the Balance Right

One of the challenges for parents with a gifted child... Read More

Where Is Your Homework, Lisa?

Is Homework Really That Important?Dear Friends,I no longer teach in... Read More

Birth of a Parent

So you're pregnant. Congratulations! Your life is about to change... Read More

Aptitude, Achievement, Processing Deficit - What Does It All Mean?

You are sitting with the professionals who know about learning... Read More

How to Teach Anger Management to Your Child

Most of us recognize the continuing escalation of violence around... Read More

Book Review: The Ring Bear Depicts Turmoil of Becoming A Stepchild

In "The Ring Bear," a picture book by Tigard resident... Read More

Developing a Fantastic Relationship with Your Child

Here's a scene: A parent "might suddenly grab a happliy... Read More

Kids And Chores - Make It Easy On Yourself!

My neighbours' kid impressed me the other day.I was busy... Read More

Help My Preteen/Teenager is Driving Me Nuts!

Do you feel like someone has abducted your sweet, innocent... Read More

Motherhood is a Perfect Adventure

How often do you think of family life as an... Read More

ParentingYour Teenager: Dont Buy the I Dont Know and I Dont Care Attitude

"I don't know and I don't care."I've heard those words... Read More

Just Average

What do you mean average? Not good? Just doing good... Read More

The Twenty-First Century Parent

John was a 43 year-old sales manager at a large... Read More

I Dont Believe in ADHD

O.K. I've heard it a hundred times from my prison... Read More

Breaking the Cycle of Emotional Blackmail

Family decision-making is an intriguing phenomenon. Many factors become part... Read More

Fundraising For Your Preschool Or Daycare Center

Most day cares are non-profit organizations that must operate within... Read More

Working Moms: Too Busy for Your Children?

17 Quick Ways to Strengthen the Bonds of LoveOn Mother's... Read More