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.
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!
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