This is easy enough, yet so difficult for some fathers (and mothers) to put into practice. The purpose of a parent is, besides feeding and keeping your child safe, is to find out who your child is and help guide that unique individual towards a successful and fulfilling life. It is not about molding them into who you are.
You are that child’s defender to the teacher who says they should be more this or that. Not making excuses for your child if they have done wrong, but making sure your child is accepted as themselves, not forced to be something they are not.
You are the explainer and reassurer to the child about their individuality and unique character not being bad or odd or unworthy.
You are the example to the child about enjoying and embracing your own individuality and personality.
You are the example of allowing and embracing others, including your own brothers and sisters, who are different than you are. Living out the truth that they are not a threat to your identity just because they are different.
You are the comforter when your child feels something someone else, including you, may not feel in the same circumstances. You allow the feeling, not disparaging or dismissing it. You don’t have to think, as an adult, that is is a valid feeling for you to have. You just have to acknowledge and understand it is a legitimate feeling for your child to have at that moment.
Be those things and your children will be secure in knowing they are truly known.
Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman of The Napkin Dad Daily
Quote by William Shakespeare, 1564-1616. English playwright