Children see their fathers as the world’s response to them. To your children, you are literally God. Words, touch, feelings all deliver a message from the world, telling them whether and how they fit in.
If fathers are as careful with how we feel around our children as we are with say driving our car, we will have a similar number of upsets. Driving the car carefully doesn’t mean other drivers are being careful. But if we are, we can avoid getting caught in others’ mistakes. This is true for our children as well.
Healthy, clear thinking men prioritize our children’s health and development in all we do. This includes what we think and feel.
What do you feel when you think of your children’s mother? Our opinions of their mothers registers with our children. All children drink from the stream of their mothers’ lives. Our relationship with our children’s mother is a constant influence in our children’s lives. If we practice accepting and understanding their mom, our children will accept and understand us, their fathers.
Many fathers believe naively that their resentment, indifference or hidden anger don’t influence their children. What this kind of thinking ignores is the invisible, life-supporting necessity of our children’s physical and emotional attachment to both their parents. Any wrinkles in the fabric of the parents’ live become wrinkles in the children’s lives. If you carry ANY dark thoughts or feelings for your children’s mother, your children are carrying it too.
Imagine you are standing in a flowing stream, with our child downstream from us. The water flowing by carries our essence to our children, and there’s nothing we can do to stop that. As fathers, we entered the stream of our children’s mothers, mentally, emotionally, physically.This is a lifetime influence. Fathers in their later years share their feelings with their children as simply as someone who just walked up to you smelling of woodsmoke. Each thought and feeling we entertain, for as long as we entertain it, is part of the stream of conscious life flowing through our children.
In my counseling practice most if not all children of separating, conflicted parents make this statement: “I just want them to get along…why can’t they be nice to each other?”
Loving our children’s mothers beyond courting is a parenting mandate which can be hard work. Once the shine and fun disappear, loving our parenting partners becomes a daily skill building task requiring discipline. Like eating, exercise and rest, ongoing emotional care for our families must be guided if we are to do it well. Putting our children first brings means, again and again, to open ourselves to loving their mom.
Dad to Dad
How did your father demonstrate love for your mom? Do you see yourself treating your kids’ mother the way you father did yours? If our father was unkind or withdrawn, we are designed to
imitate him. The work of healthy fathering is to improve on our fathers. Is your relationship with your children’s mother coming from a disciplined thought and feeling place? Are you bypassing resentment, fear, isolation, blame, hostility? Do you practice appreciation and acceptance of your child’s mother when you are not with her? Do you know?
If we don’t appreciate and accept, we feel emotional difficulty. Consider this for a moment. Have you ever experienced an emotional difficulty with your child’s mother that was appreciative? Accepting? The choice of appreciation and acceptance dissolves hurt and anger.
Pay attention to your feelings and you’ll notice immediate feedback to your thinking. When we think accepting and appreciating thoughts we feel good. When our thinking is rejecting or attacking, we poison the nurturing stream from which our children drink. Watch your thoughts.
Stop and slow down to guide your self for a few seconds.Open to finding something good about your child’s mother. Accept the power and joy of your own choice now. In this clear moment, when you are benevolent and kind, write down a statement affirming your love for your child’s mother as well as your child. It’s your place to claim acceptance and appreciation.
What’s your take on what you just read? Comment below or write a response and submit to us your own point of view or reaction here at the red box, below, which links to our submissions portal.
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