For now, I’ll pass on the national crisis and reflect on something more personal, perhaps something worth considering yourself. I reread the chapter in Fatherhood: In Piecescalled “What You’d Do Differently.” Four observations stand out:
I could have spent more time with the kids.
Maybe I would baby the kids less.
Of all the wonderful things our society says about fathers… (Wait… there aren’t any… I’ll start again…). In an imaginary world where society occasionally says something positive about fathers, what would be the top 10 strengths attributed to dads? Chances are “They are great communicators” wouldn’t make the list, given the tendency of many men to say little.
So maybe a little communications coaching is in order. Below are two videos, also linked hereand here, totaling 3 minutes and 54 seconds, on what two dads offer on communicating better with your kids. Spoiler alert: you’ll hear the word listen.
So maybe on this Father’s Day — while flipping burgers, watching golf, or hanging out with the family –you might mull over a simple question: Can I communicate better with my kids, and if so, how? What, you say? You‘d prefer a knee replacement or a prostate exam? C’mon. Shaping their values, setting expectations, knowing what problems they’re wrestling with, learning how you can help them, and telling them you love them are all important parts of being a good dad. And all require that you communicate. Go for it.
Happy Father’s Day.