The most awesome and terrifying experience of my life so far (and I imagine it will never be matched by anything else) is that of being a father.
Passivity is a very dangerous position to be in, yet one that is extremely easy to fall into. By passivity, I mean getting stuck in the routine of life and work, especially when everything is going well.
Sure you spend time with the family, having dinner together, going to ball games, etc., but how are you participating is the key.
I feel like kids crave special attention and focus from their father. I know for a fact when I spend focused attention 1:1 with each of my children, they blossom into completely different creatures. It's after these moments that I am reminded at how important it is for me to make these moments a frequent occurrence, something they can look forward to and depend on happening.
It is in these moments that I think we fathers have the incredible opportunity to teach life-lessons to our children. I know I remember dozens, if not hundreds, of things my dad taught me that I am sure he doesn't remember. We cling to the words of our fathers. Better make them count.
One life-lesson I want so badly to teach my children and instill in them as young as possible is to be their own person. To have confidence in themselves, yet be humble and full of grace with those around them. The type of self-assurance that comes not from ego but from knowing that God created them just the way they are. I want them to be able to withstand any potential feeling of not fitting into this crowd or that crowd. I want to equip them to be able to rebuff even the strongest negative peer pressure.
Another thing that I strive for is exposing them to as many avenues for finding and discovering their passions as possible. It's exciting to see them try new things, sometimes struggling with things, something finding a new love, other times finding a natural giftedness towards something.
All three of my kids are completely different in this regard and I love that not one of them is trying to be like the other one. There is still a ton of this world yet for them to explore but already at such young ages they are finding things to be passionate about and it thrills me to pour resources, time, and energy into helping them pursue these things.
There is a video circulating on social media of two young black kids being filmed by their father holding up their report cards littered with F's from a school in Memphis. He is showing the world the humiliating haircuts he gave them to teach them a lesson.
I have already seen this video a few times from a few different friends so didn't think it worth propagating by sharing.
I did want to just say that I think this father is extremely misguided to think that coercion via humiliation as a sound and loving parenting technique. Whether he realizes it or not, this is a form of abuse that will only have lasting negative consequences on his children.
I wonder how much time this dad has spent helping his children with school work? When is the last time he helped his sons set goals and achieve them and then express how proud he is of them? Son need to know their father both loves and is proud of them. As they get older they yearn to know they make their father proud dk far more than even how much he loves them.
This type of abuse breaks my heart and I hate to see it spread through social media as if this father is some sort of hero.
Dads: don't be lazy. Anyone can make a video. Take time instead to build up your children instead of tear them down. Please note, I don't mean their should not be punishments but they should be in private, between a parent and a child, otherwise the punishment is no longer respected and though disliked by the child, is understood as required by a loving parent who cares about them
I hope these two young lads can endure and get past this fathers abuse. I hope they don't get into drugs or gangs as a result of not feeling loved at home or having a father who they can make proud. I hope this father is embarrassed by this public humiliation of his sons rather than getting off on all the shares and likes he is receiving.