Archive for the ‘Father’s Impact’ Category

What Do Fathers Need To Be Reminded Of!?

Thursday, June 13th, 2013


There’s a popular Country song entitled “Watching You” by Rodney Atkins that tells a story about a Dad driving a car with his four year old little boy.  Suddenly he slams on the brakes and the boy’s “happy meal” goes flying.  The boy mutters a four letter word that begins with “s”.  The Dad is startled and concerned. He asks the boy where did you learn to talk like that? The boy responds:

“I’ve been watchin’ you Dad, now ain’t that cool

I’m your buckaroo, I wanna be like you” …

I wanna do everything you do

So I’ve been watchin’ you”

Father’s Day is next Sunday.  This article is meant as a reminder to Dads everywhere that their sons and daughters are always “watchin’ you”.  Whether near or far Dads are being watched as to how to live life.  Presence, character, values, life style, all are absorbed by children of fathers.  Even if the Father is not present, his absence negatively impacts his children.

In my many years of practice I have been consistently amazed at the “radar” that kids have regarding their parents.  Kids take in what is going on!  They may not choose or be able to express it, but they do know. They hear, see, and sense.  Never doubt that! Kids and adults everyday tell me what has gone on in their home and its affect on them.

So, what kind of role model are you, Dad?  To help with your awareness, you might want to ask the kids themselves.  Or, perhaps, their mother.  This feedback could be informative and interesting.  Might even lead to some changes in behavior, perhaps an apology or two.

Basic premise: if you are going to father a child, then be there to lead and protect that child. S/he needs your guidance. You need to model behaviors that inspire and encourage your child to be the very best person possible.  Without your leadership your child will flounder in some form or fashion.  Guaranteed.

Perhaps, Father’s Day could be an opportune day to reflect on your father.  What kind of man was he when you were “watchin’” him?  Was he present?  Was he a good Dad?  If not did he become one?  Your father always impacts you.  You are probably very much like him or for one reason or another you have chosen to be significantly different.

In recent times in my office I have heard a twelve year old girl say, “Daddy, please quit smoking, I’m afraid you are going to die.”  (The Dad threw his pack in the waste basket and said “I’m done”.)  A seventeen year old boy told me his Dad smoked marijuana with him starting at age twelve. An eight year old boy asked me to ask his father to quit yelling at his mother.  A fourteen year old girl was upset that her father divorced her mother, was drinking a lot in her presence, and rarely wanted to spend time with her.  A seventeen year old girl said she was shut down, shy, and had low esteem in reaction to her parents fighting all the time. The list could go on and on.

Most of you Fathers deserve high praise and deserve to be honored.


For those of you who have not been a good Dad, there probably is time to make amends and give it your best shot.  A child always needs a good role model from Dad no matter what his or her age may be.  Remember, your child is always “watchin’ you”!

“The unexamined life is not worth living”     Socrates


Father: “Leader of the Band”: Yes? No? Your Experience?

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

This Sunday is Father’s Day.  If you are a father, what does it mean to you?  If you are a child, what does it mean to you?  Is the day important? Does it bring forth any particular thoughts and feelings? I hope that it does for it is important to reflect on the role of Father in the family.

As Father’s day approaches this year a particular song keeps coming to my mind.  It is an emotional song for many sons and daughters. It’s called “Leader of the Band” and sung by Dan Fogelberg.  Some of the lyrics are:

The leader of the band is tired

and his eyes are growing old,

but his blood runs through my instrument

and his song is in my soul.


I thank you for the kindness

and the times when you got tough.

And, Pap, I don’t think

I said, “I love you” near enough.


My life has been a poor attempt

to imitate the man.

I’m just a living legacy

to the leader of the band.


The Father sets the tone (or tune) in the family – good or bad.  The influence on the family, on kids, is very significant, both through heredity and example. The Father’s blood runs through us in many influential ways.

What has been the impact of your father on you?  Have you wanted to be like your father or have you chosen to modify or do the opposite?  Usually “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”.  It is important to know who your father was and what his influence has been on you.  Even if you did not have a father present, that abandonment by him has deeply impacted you – perhaps in ways that you are not very in touch with.

The message here is to know the influence of your father on you.  Perhaps you could reflect on that, get in touch with the related feelings, and, perhaps, even share that with a significant other.

Also, those of you who are currently fathers, what kind are you? Where can improvement be made?  Dare you ask your children what kind of father you are or have been?  If
improvement is called for, rise to the occasion.  A Father always has some influence.

Make no mistake, you are called to be the “Leader of the Band”.  Bring forth a beautiful song of love!

Father’s Day: The Impact of Daddy is Powerful!

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

     Father’s Day is another one of those days that bears some reflection time. “Who’s your Daddy” is a phrase used in many contexts in popular culture. This article uses the phase in personal familial context.

     “Daddy deficit” was in the title of an article I recently read.  The writer, Allan Shedlin, writes about “daddying” and how it is more than a DNA deposit.  Being a daddy requires a lifelong commitment. Mr. Shedlin speaks of the “daddy deficit” in his own life and how it ultimately led him to make a “commitment to be exuberantly involved in the lives of the children I planned to have some day.”

     What kind of  father did you have growing up?  Was he a good dad?  Was he present? Absent?  A nemesis to be feared?  A father’s imprint on a child is incredible and indelible.  He is your model, the prototype of what a father is.  How did your father influence your later reality, i.e. emotional well being, career choice, relationship skill sets, mate selection, parenting capability, avocational interests, etc…?

     Everyday in my practice I speak with men who tell me of the impact of their father on them. Usually there is pain in their eyes as they speak.  Some, like Mr. Shedlin vowed to do if differently, many continued to do the same things that their father did.  Harry Chapin had a lot to say about this in his song “Cats in the Cradle”.  Most men are familiar with the song and usually get melancholy when hearing it:

                And the cats in the cradle and the silver spoon

                little boy blue and the man on the moon.

                When you comin’ home, Dad?

                I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then son

                You know we’ll have a good time then

Another verse has the child saying:

                I’m gonna be like you, Dad

                You know I’m gonna be like you.

Well, dad never did spend time with his son and later on when he wanted to be with his grown up son, the son talked of being too busy, but we’ll get together some time.

And the father painfully became aware:

                 And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me

                 He’d grown up just like me

                 my boy was just like me. 

     If you are a father, what kind of dad are you?  If you plan on being a father in the future, what kind of dad will you be, particularly if you are aware of your experience with you own father?

     Mr. Shedlin says that “becoming a Dad was the most transformational event in my life; it has been one of life’s rare opportunities to make a direct connection to my heart and my soul”.  Personally, I can relate well to that experience.  My father was in the car business and worked many hours, including nights and Saturdays.  I never developed much of a relationship with him.  When I became a father I made a personal commitment that whenever my young children wanted to spend time with me, I would stop what I was doing and “be there” with them.  That commitment continues today, and would you believe that now that they are young adults they still want to spend time with me! I am a lucky man.

     For those of you who are present and a positive influence in your child’s life,

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!  For those of you who have not been good fathers, fix it, so that next year you will warrant recognition as a good father and be honored and saluted with “HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!