Think back to a time when you’ve been disappointed in your son or daughter. For some of you, it’s a recent event. What is your response as a father? My standard response as a father of young men is the cold shoulder. My mood is cool. My talk is staccato. My look is downcast.
As a boy growing up with two older brothers who were often in trouble, I rarely received this treatment from my father. I was a refreshment to my dad. Far from perfect, but it took a lot to disappoint my father. He disciplined. But, his patience was long.
So, what is the correct approach?
How to respond
Discipline and/or correct and move on. Holding onto your disappointment can lead to an outburst later. Correct what needs to be corrected and move on.
Communicate with love. Sons and daughters need much more encouragement than correction. So, if you need to correct them, do so, but be very watchful for an opportunity to encourage and communicate with a loving tone and look. Be authentic, but praise good work and reward good behavior.
Keep modeling good behavior. If your kids are like mine, they vividly remember dad’s poor behavior. So, be mindful that they are watching. Be the dad who would make you proud as a son.
Listen with patience. Listening is loving. Children and adults who act poorly often have a heart issue. Listen to what’s troubling them. Try not to make every moment they share a lesson. Just listen.
Oh, how my Lord has been so patient, so loving, and encouraging. Let me be filled with joy so that I can receive my sons with joy and model a joyful, loving father. Amen.
Be The Dad Movement contributor