Posts Tagged ‘legacy’

DadPad: Connecting with your Kids

March 22, 2010

One of the most satisfying, yet challenging parts of being a dad is taking/making the time to connect with your children.  It might mean a regular “date” with your son or daughter, teaching them a hobby, going to their sporting events, and/or participating in small group activities with them like bible studies, Boy or Girl Scouts, or Pinewood derby model making.  Admittedly, most of my involvement with my children wasn’t achieved because of a plan but out of what they were currently doing.  There is certainly nothing wrong with that.  However, the most enjoyable times were those that I actually planned and carried out.

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For instance, the year long bible study my son and I did with 5 other dads and their sons, culminating in a celebration event of a two day camping outing for all of the dads and sons, was intentional and memorable.  I intentionally decided to coach my daughters soccer team so that I could be with them and help build character and sportsmanship into their lives.

I also wanted them to build their lives on a foundation of spiritual significance.  So, I spent a lot of time in their early years reading bible stories, discussing biblical principles in age related ways, memorizing scripture and trying to have regular dinner-talk where faith and life intersected so they could see that faith and life are inseparable (or supposed to be).

There are a lot of fathers who’ve done a much better job of making time with their children a priority in their lives than I have.  The issue isn’t who is doing it best but whether you are doing it at all.  Think about it: if you and your child live to average ages, the window of years where you can truly impact their lives is probably about 10-15% of your life.  It doesn’t end when they grow past their teen years but much of who they’ll become has been formed by then.  And, staying involved in their lives as they become adults and have families is critical, too.  Yet, early investments of time and involvement will never come back void and are very difficult to replace.

For the next few days, I’ve asked men who are at varying stages of their fatherhood and to share the way(s) that they have intentionally connected with their kids.  None of us would tell you we’ve done it perfectly.  But, there has been an internal desire to connect with our children in a way that will leave a legacy of good in their lives, let them know we love them and, hopefully, honor God.

We hope that you’ll find an idea or two over the next week that will help spur some effort on your part to begin or encourage you to continue a lifestyle of purposefully finding ways to connect with your kids.  Additionally, we would love to hear how you choose to spend quality time with your children.  Whether it’s a distant relationship because they are grown or separated due to life circumstances (military, divorce, etc) or a life stage (preschool, adolescent, high school, etc), we can always find ways to continue the God-given opportunity we have as dads to “konnect with our kids”.  We hope you enjoy and share in this weeks offering!

Read our first guest post tomorrow, March 23.  Steve Davis, a former Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force and a great friend of mine, will share how he’s stayed in touch and connected with his 4 children through years of being gone in military service and helping adjust through multiple moves throughout the United States and Canada.

And, if you read this would you consider sharing this article via Twitter and Facebook? Our desire is not to simply see DadPad grow in numbers but to reach more dads so that we can collaboratively lock arms and help each other become better at this role called Fatherhood.  There are very few classes or training courses offered in this area.  We’ve found that being a dad is a lifelong effort at getting incrementally better each day.  And, it’s done better together.  So, share your thoughts and these articles.  Thank you.

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DadPad Quotes & Notes: Oil and Idol

March 10, 2010

“I talk and talk and talk, and I haven’t taught people in 50 years what my father taught by example in one week.” — Mario Cuomo

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I got a call from my college senior yesterday.  He asked me if there was any special oil that the old SUV he drives up at school needed to be asked for when he took it in for an oil change.  It’s the kind of questions that sons ask dads all the time.  But, I was reminded that there are so many things in this life that you just need to experience to understand.  I am NOT a mechanically astute dad.  I remember changing the water pump on a 1960-something Rambler when I was in my late teens.  Over the past few years I’ve learned how to better manage my car but I’ll never be the first person others think of to ask for help in working on their car.  Compared to my dad, though, I’m Mr. Goodwrench.  I don’t mean any disrespect to my dad.  He’s got other great qualities.  Mechanical aptitude isn’t one of them.  Though I’m no NASCAR pit crew member, I have decided that I want my son to learn the basics in life that will help him take care of things, even if he’s not gifted in that way.  I realize my influence on him toward that end is stronger than I might naturally think.

Here’s a test for you–next time you meet someone that has a specific talent, ask them if they learned it from or worked on it together with their dad.  Last night on American Idol, Siobhan Magnus was asked by Ryan Seacrest about the song she chose.  She chose the song she did (House of the Rising Sun) because it was her dad’s favorite.  Then, she indicated that her dad was the best singer she had ever heard (and said that her dad had said that she was the best singer he had heard).  Point is, a dad’s involvement in a child’s life is often the reason that the child grows into a skill or even a career.

Mario Cuomo stated it well in the quote above.  A dad’s influence in their child’s life is much more impacting than anything else when it’s done out of love for the child.  As an aside, a dad’s influence is just as powerful the opposite direction as well in leaving a lasting legacy of hurt and pain when NOT not done in love.

For discussion: What seeds have you sown into your child’s life in terms of skill or encouraging a talent that you’ve seen the fruit of later?  Or, how did your dad build into you around a skill or talent that you’ve benefited from throughout your life?

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