Many of us have had that boss, the one who micromanages and nitpicks details that are insignificant to the overall task at hand. He or she gives you a task and then checks in several times along the way and then tasks you with minute changes that have little impact.
Have you become that kind of father or do you allow your children to make mistakes? How are you going to move from being the helicopter parent, who is continually hovering, to one who trains up children who can make decisions on their own?
Fear of Failure
We’ve been conditioned to avoid pain and seek pleasure. It’s in the advertisements we see and hear. It’s in the dramatized media that often reports on sensational tragedies that are rare but worry us. It comes down to being afraid of failing and afraid of what might happen if our children make the wrong choices. ‘Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it’. (Prov 22:6 ESV) Add to that Proverbs 3 referring to trusting the Lord and counting on His wisdom, not ours. Life is full of unexpected events. Some tragedies can be avoided by prayer and trusting and honoring the Lord and gaining wisdom from scriptures. Common sense helps. But, please, stop worrying about what you cannot control. Some tragedies could be considered bad luck. Stuff happens. As a believer, it bothered me when someone mentioned bad or good luck. “I don’t need good luck, I’m blessed and God will turn all events for good”. O.K., settle down Skippy. That is true, but luck simply means, ‘unknown and unpredictable phenomenon’. And, as a father, I’ve experience many unpredictable phenomena. Your children need to understand that to fail does not mean that you are a failure.
Discipline and Modeling
It’s important. Your children need to know the boundaries. They need to know what right and wrong is and to suffer the consequences that follow poor decisions. Likely, they will learn more by the character you model than the words you speak. Also, it’s good to pick your battles. Please don’t nag them over minor infractions; ‘you didn’t pick up your socks again’. Focus on the big events, the teachable moments.
What are the Majors?
Some of this is for you to figure out. Are you raising a child with Autism or special needs? Your majors are different from other parents. It’s important for you to know and understand your role as a father. If you want to cast a vision for your children and show them their true potential, it’s important to be encouraging and to cast out fear. Fear of oncoming traffic is healthy, but fear of failure is not. So, how do I cast a new vision for my children? And, what are the majors? Loving, Praying, Modeling, Mentoring, Listening, Teaching, Disciplining, Blessing, Providing, and Protecting are the majors. If you’d like to read more about understanding your role, majoring in the majors, and casting a new vision for your children, we recommend ‘From Faith to Faith’, by Bill C. Dotson.