Pitfalls Of Being An Insensitive Dad

By: Lee Wise

Author: Lee Wise
Copyright date: 2003
Word count: 1139 w/bio
Characters/line: 60

Avoiding The Pitfalls Of Being An Insensitive Dad
? Lee Wise 2003 All rights reserved


I could hardly believe what I was hearing. A father and
his son had entered the men's room. While I was washing my
hands, I listened as the father wielded a series of
demanding and demeaning statements at his son as if they
were swords in a battle for ... who knows what?

And all about going to the bathroom quickly!

It was the perfect victory. The enemy (the son) had been
slain. The battle was won. The general had summoned his
one-man army to do his bidding.

It was also totally and completely ridiculous. There was
no consideration for the feelings or physical needs of
the young person.

The "bad boy" had won the day -- and the bad boy was not
the son.

It was the son's insensitive dad.


This incident occurred while on vacation. I loved vacation
except for one aspect: watching fathers deal with their

I was sad. And I was angry.

The "interesting" thing was that when I related this
observation to my daughter and son-in-law, they proceeded
to share with me *their* same discouragement while they were
on a recent trip to a theme park.

Their message was the same:

"We had a great time.
The only discouraging thing was
seeing dads with their children."


I am a father and I would be among the first to declare that
raising children is not an easy task.

Parts of it are rough. Real rough.

I would also be quick to admit the times I have failed as a

But I do hope that no one has ever said this about me after
observing my relationship with either my children or grand-

"We saw the most discouraging thing today.

This guy was a jerk. The way he treated those kids was

No respect. No honor.

Only demands and unrealistic expectations. I tell ya,
it was sad."


Let me be quick to add: all is not bad. I have seen many
loving, caring fathers throughout the years. I *love*
watching those types of dads relate to their children.

is one of my personal delights in life :)

With that in mind, I am offering a few simple suggestions
for a better way: a better way for fathers to relate to
their children than the two negative examples I have shared
with you.

I will center my suggestions on five themes:

1. Consideration
2. Respect
3. Humility
4. Compassion
5. Love

Two comments as I transition into my suggestions:

*You will quickly discover that this will not be a long
and drawn out discussion of these themes. Enjoy.

*Many of the points will be shared through using simple
"affirmations" -- or descriptive comments if you
please. These affirmations will help you personalize
what is said.


We have discussed a few of the "bad boy" characteristics.

Let's turn our attention to five characteristics of the
"good boys." That is, men who are determined *not* to be
thought of as "one of those insensitive dads."


Consideration says...

"I adjust my expectations according to the needs, maturity
level and emotional capabilities of the child I am relating
to at the moment."

Because of the important aspects of the statement you just
read, I'm going to repeat it and break it down for you.

That's my part.

Yours will be to reflect on each aspect as you read it one
more time. Reflect on it through the lens of how you would
have liked to be treated as a young-person-in-the-making.

"I adjust

My expectations

According to

The needs,

Maturity level

And emotional capabilities

Of the child

I am relating to

At the moment."


Respect says...

"I see this person entrusted to my care as one who is worthy
of my honor, approval and love."

This mental stance provides for me a frame. A frame I wrap
around my child *to begin with.* The child is worthy of my
honor, approval and love -- from the beginning.

It is a part of the package each child should *sense* in me
from "Day One" so-to-speak.


Humility says...

"Because I am still learning, I give my child space and time
to learn."

"Because I still fail, I forgive and support my child when
he or she fails."

"Because I respond poorly when people are angry with me for
reasons I do not understand, I resist all uncontrolled and
self-centered anger when dealing with my child."


Compassion says...

"I am a 'show and tell' person.

*I show my child I care.
*I tell my child I care."

"I strive to be gentle, not harsh."

"I care and my child senses it."


Love says... all of the above.


Let me make something perfectly clear: children can -- and
do -- hurt their parents.

Good parents. Parents who in a very real sense lay down
their lives for their kids and still get kicked in the guts
while trying to help their children be happy and succeed in

These parents know a special kind of pain. A pain that no
one really wants to understand. I salute those parents.

You may be one of them.

So my disclaimer is...

*I realize this is a two-sided fence

*My purpose is not to add guilt to a conscience
already plagued by the "Why's" of their child's
bad attitudes and behavior -- in spite of hundreds
of hours of trying to do what's right.

Rather, if you happen to be one of those parents --
and especially a dad since that is the topic of these
comments -- I want you to hear these words:

"I thank you for trying."

I thank you for trying and for the lonely hours
you have spent that only you, and possibly your
spouse -- and God -- knows about...

The tears. The heartache and the pain that goes
on and on as each new report surfaces about some
action or attitude your child has displayed."

For those times, tears and heartache -- I reflect
to you my appreciation. And I'm sure I
represent only one of many voices that would
echo the same to you if they could.

Therefore, review these comments and take note
of each positive thing you have done. Take a
bow. You deserve it."

Yours for a day filled with beautiful moments in time,

Lee is a seminary administrator, has a part-time business
at homeArticle Submission, and writes two motivational ezines: "A Beautiful
Moment In Time" and "Hope For Daily Living." Permission
is given to distribute article. This paragraph must be
included. Email: Lee@motivation-for-daily-living.net
Link: http://www.motivation-for-daily-living.net

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