“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Mt.10:14
Children are such a great blessing, but with this great blessing also comes great responsibility! Speaking only from my personal experience and conversations with my own friends and co-workers (the majority who are women/mothers) – women tend to think about & worry about this responsibility and how all those “little moments” can be teachable & future shaping moments.
Women also tend to be able to focus on how all the daily events are forming and transforming who these little blessings are becoming. Dad’s can and do, as well. Although, at times, their approach may be different.
In the cited article below, Dr. Meg Meeker, MD focuses on the father/son relationship. However, the majority of what is said can certainly also be applied to the father/daughter relationship.
Today, natural, healthy boyhood is under attack.
It is threatened not only by an educational establishment that devalues masculinity and boyishness, and not only by widely remarked social changes including widespread divorce and the rise of single-parent households that deprive boys of the responsible fathers they need, but by a noxious popular culture that is as degrading to boys as it is dangerous to girls.
As parents, we know that boyhood has been changing—for the worse. We want our boys to build tree forts and bear traps, not shoot aliens in video games. We remember when boys use to go trout fishing, sit under a tree while daydreaming about the future, and now we fear that our boys are cutting themselves off from us with iPods, earbuds, and computer porn.
Are our boys in trouble? If so, are they in more danger than past generations? Yes, and most definitely yes. But unlike some psychologists, sociologists, and educators, I believe that the troubles hurting our boys stem from three major sources:
- Lack of close relationships with men (particularly fathers),
- Lack of religious education, and
- Aggressive exposure to a toxic media that teaches boys that the keys to a great life are sex, sex, and a bit more sex—and a whole lot of money and fame.
The good news is that we parents can turn this around. We must be willing to see that what our boys need isn’t simply more education, more prescriptions, more money, or more activities.
What they need is us. You and me. They need parents who are willing to take a good hard look at what their sons think and what they are doing. They need fathers who will embrace their sons and watch them with the eyes of a schooled hawk.
The foundations of any boy’s life is built on three things:
- His relationships with his parents,
- His relationship with God, and
- His relationship with his siblings and close friends.
If these three are strong, any boy can thrive in the midst of academic and athletic challenges, a toxic culture, and harmful peer pressure.
Fathers, think about the important role you play in your child’s life – there is nothing insignificant about you. Your child needs you. Mother’s are wonderful, but children need and will seek out a male role model — will it be you? Do you know what you child(ren) do all day? Who are their friends? Do they know how to pray? Do they know what you do all day? Do they know that you love them?
You work to provide and care for them – but they need more – they need you – time with you…
For more information/ resources:
http://www.megmeekermd.com/ The wisdom of a Pediatrician. The heart of a mother.
http://www.drray.com/ Dr. Ray Guarendi is the father of 10, clinical psychologist, author, public speaker and nationally syndicated radio host.