Are you a modern day daddy?
In the 15 years that I have been working with moms and dads, I have seen a repeated pattern and challenge that comes up for contemporary fathers so very often. So many men I meet are devoted to being hands on with their kiddos and they are determined to be more involved in the raising of their kids than their own fathers ever were during their childhoods. Often times these men are partnered with women who not only welcome that higher level of involvement from them, but sometimes also expect it from them. However, here comes the challenge. If you’re a hands-on dad and your children (like all little human beings) can be frustrating and difficult at times, how do you have the patience and the skills that you need to handle those messy moments of parenthood? Especially if your own father was far more removed than you are or if you didn’t have a really great role model of what fatherhood looks like during those messy moments. How do you build that skill set and where do you go to get it?
Do you have the right tools?
One of the things that’s always fun for the Flourish team and I to talk to parents about is helping a lot of dads build the emotional awareness, the developmental understanding, and sometimes just the ability to keep their cool that parenthood demands of all of us. Here’s the really interesting thing about being a parent – messy moments are inevitable. I say that having had 4 different messy moments with my teenager this week alone. They are just a part of family life. However, if we show up for one of those messy moments without the right tools, we can actually damage the relationship between our kids and ourselves. When we show up with a robust set of tools, the ability to stay patient, to make sure we’re not taking it personally, the ability to empathize, and be appropriate during those moments, then those messy moments actually become a positive experience that can not only maintain but sometimes even enhance the positive bond we have between our kiddo and ourselves.
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