It’s Father’s Day and we honor our dads, grandfathers, uncles and all the important males who impact our existence.
Almost all GMP reader’s lives span two centuries. Years ago most families would be spending time together on the holiday. Many still do. Though in the 21st Century we’re often lucky when the whole crew makes it to the table. Thank goodness for texting, Skype and FaceTime.
Many Baby Boomers grew up in families where their Dad’s were busy working long hours to support the family. After an exhausting day on the job they had little energy to spend the amount or quality of time with their children that they desired.
In general the fathers of Baby Boomers weren’t great communicators. It wasn’t part of their upbringing.
Boomer dads were supposed to be tough — the family provider and disciplinarian. You rarely went to your Dad if you got into trouble in school. That usually meant double punishment. Lots of GMP reader’s parents are Baby Boomers. Perhaps some of this resonates with you.
Whether you’re a member of The Greatest Generation, Baby Boomer, Generation Y, Millennial or Young Adult let’s eradicate the legacy of male identity and the hesitancy to share or show emotion.
We’ve allegedly evolved as a society. Fathers are often more self-aware and involved in their kid’s lives. This is a great “step” in the right direction.
Yet despite this evolution not a lot has changed. Dads are usually still the tough less talkative family members. Moms are the ones upon whose shoulders we most often cry. (I’m making lots of generalizations — and your situation may be different.)
Although women if you want a modern-day example think of one of your biggest complaints about relationships with the opposite sex — lack of communication. This didn’t happen overnight! It’s a cultural archetype that hasn’t transformed much throughout the years.
The Good Men Project is trying to change this. But entrenched cultural values, beliefs and sensibilities don’t morph overnight or easily. It’s a long term and worthy effort. It takes crusaders willing to pick up the chalice and work for new and healthy ways to view ourselves, family and how we communicate.
Dads often downplay Father’s Day. They can be hesitant to show emotion. It’s all part of the ‘manliness’ thing. But the reality is they have the same desire to connect as moms.
Show your Dad, Grandfather or other important male in your life some loving, he’ll feel real good.
How about we leverage Father’s Day to create sustainable change and a demonstrated evolution in our thinking. Begin a family dialogue that encourages and respects each other’s views. Listen and really hear. Communicate! Embrace differences.
How amazing is it that there are now legal families with two dads! It would have been unimaginable not long ago. Change can happen when we commit and take action.
Guys it’s OK to show strong emotions. It feels great to hug your sons. They want it (often despite protestations) and so do you.
Your children crave love and attention and want to be able to turn to you in times of trouble. If your thirteen year old son still refers to you as Daddy so be it. It means he feels like a kid and you are his rock! Don’t worry, he’ll be drinking beer soon enough.
The positive role model you create for your daughters will benefit them in later life. Relationships with the opposite sex will be healthier and more rewarding. Children learn by watching and modeling. The way you treat your wife — how she responds — and the values you instill in your male offspring has great impact. As you respect women, so too will your sons. Everyone wins!
Guys, be mindful. Spend time thinking about what you really want in a relationship with your family. Is there anyone you care more about? How does that family connection play out? What does it look and feel like? Imagine the pleasure of being yourself and enjoying great rapport with those you love most.
Consider doing a Mind Acrobatics™ exercise on Father/Son communication. Identify your innermost desires and then take the steps to bring them to fruition. Time flies by so fast.
As families let’s all work to communicate, not judge and make certain that all of us reap the benefits of healthy relationships. It takes will and work to be flexible, willing to adapt and create a new and in many cases different family dynamic.
As for today, let’s make sure we show our dads we really love them. Life is fleeting, no one lives forever and it’s never too soon to demonstrate our caring and appreciation.
Happy Father’s Day to all.
PS: To my Dad, you’re always in my heart. Your encouragement and acceptance allowed me to develop at my pace. The incredible values you modeled instructed and informed the man I am today! I’m throwing love, hugs and kisses your way!