Sunday, May 19, 2019

Connection Starters

The moment that I decided to become a father, I knew my life would change forever.  I still remember the surreal feeling I had when my wife gave me the news that she was pregnant for the first time. All kinds of questions ran through my head. Things like, “Am I ready for this?” “Am I going to lose my wife to this needy child for the next 18 plus years?”

I was a little overwhelmed because I knew there’d never be another waking moment that I would be able to only think about the needs of just my wife and myself. I was about to embark upon a situation where an entire human being needed me 24 hours a day 7 days a week in order to survive. Ready or not a connection had started with a person that I had yet to see, yet to hear cry or yet to touch.

You see that first connection was pretty easy back then. Fast forward 11 years and things have changed a lot.  Connecting with them when they were babies is way different than dealing with these critical thinking intellectuals that I currently have on my hands. My life is filled with many two-way conversations that are laced with some interesting perspectives from two very opinionated young ladies.  There have been plenty of times that I wished for a playbook to help me when I’ve responded in a way that caused the connection between my daughters and I to be briefly challenged. I feel like apologizing just comes with the territory. There’s nothing I want more than to tell you that I’ve been a perfect father. Unfortunately I can’t. What I can tell you is that I’m 100 percent determined to improve as their dad. 
 Maybe you haven’t been as connected with your children as you’d like to be, well I have some good news for you. God created children to be super resilient. If you stay involved in their lives and work hard not to make the same mistakes they usually bounce back from the failures we dads tend to make. So keep going man! You can get better at connecting with your children today.

Here are a few connection starters below that you can you use to kick your fatherhood game up to the next level. (I've also included some links to resources that you can download from the National Fatherhood Initiative to help you.

1.     Forgive yourself for your own fatherhood failures and move on.
2.     Schedule weekly (at least) uninterrupted One-on-One time with each of your children. (One-on-One Resource Download)
3.     Be actively involved with their educational and spiritual growth.
(Involved Dad Resource Download)
4.     Provide financially for both your children’s needs and some of their wants.