Monthly Archives: April 2015

Lifelong Love of a Dad

Some weeks ago a follower of this blog and a longtime friend, Patrick Ward sent along a link to a song in his Irish tradition that I want to pass along to all my readers. The singer will tell you the back story of the song before he sings so I won’t go into that here.

The reason I want to send it out to you is because it shows the lifelong love of a father for his family, and the longing he has to have his family together. The father in the song understands his son’s need to move on in life but also helps to keep him anchored to his family and to the love that rests there for him.

Some of us had fathers like this one in the song but many of us did not. Whether you did or didn’t isn’t important now. What is important is the father that you are. The father in the song is a model to be followed.

In a recent post I put up the video of the young man counting back from 21, recalling his life with his alcoholic father. The powerful video reminds us that a father is the most important person in his kid’s life. The father shapes the son and daughter, so we must always take care to treat our children with the love and respect they deserve.

As you listen to the song here, think of ways you can support your kids with simple love and attention. Think about what those letters meant to the son so far away.

Now here is the link. And if you like you can Google the title – “Kilkelly Ireland Song” and see and hear several different artists performing it.

Taking care of number one

Often we hear the phrase, “gotta take care of number one.” And it is true— you do have to take care of yourself first. It is the foundation of being self-reliant.

However there is a flip side to this and that is, if you always put yourself first in everything, you are selfish, self-centered and not someone who is fun to be around.

So I think the rule is—take care of your personal needs, look after yourself, but when it comes to the needs of others, apply the golden rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated.

How does all this involve dadding? Well, the first place in life where being second is necessary is with your kids.  In other words, your kids come first. OK I am not suggesting that they get their way all the time, or that you jump anytime they want something. What I am saying is that their need for you as their dad is fulfilled before you fill your own needs. And that can be demanding, but it has to be so.

I always say that a dad is the most important man in a kid’s life. When the kid needs support, advice, comfort, or direction from his or her dad, the dad stops watching TV, stops his working on-line, stops dealing with emails, and gives the kid the support, advice, comfort and direction he or she needs.

So, now you are red in the face with anger thinking: I do not want to spoil my kids! I am not going to always stop everything anytime they say they want something.  Well cool down. I am not saying that you need to immediately respond to each and every request that your kid makes. On the contrary, that would spoil your kid.

What I am saying is that you need to let your children know that you are always there for them.  When and if necessary, you will drop everything to come to their side. You will put them first when they really need you. You are their backstop and downfield blocker, (to draw on two sports metaphors).  In short they can count on their dad.

It can be tough to give up taking care of number one for your kids. But it will pay off handsomely. You will give your kids the confidence that they are valued and important—especially to you—the most important man in their lives.