Merriam Webster defines a “counselor” as a person who gives advice. In the role of a lawyer, it’s someone who is an advocate for another. Both are descriptive of being a dad in those “tweener” years. Somewhere north of 7 or 8 years old and prior to high school, our children begin to put things together. The role of coach still applies (see previous two blog posts) but our kids are not as easily persuaded to simply take our “game plan” and they begin to want to know the “why” of life. They also need to know they have an “advocate”, someone who is on their side no matter what happens. Dad, you are “da man” for the “da job”.
As Counselor, you don’t need a degree in psychoanalysis to succeed in this role. You just need to begin taking time and invest in your children so that they can begin to ask questions about the life they are growing into. Somewhere between the ages of 8-10, I set up a time to “date” my children regularly. Coming up with a plan is half the battle. I took the birthdates of each of my kids and set that up as their monthly date night. Continue reading →
There’s a theory out there in the annals of “daddom” that the lifecycle of fathering can be loosely characterized by three major phases; Dad as Coach, Dad as Counselor, and Dad as Consultant. Over the next few posts, I’m going to break these down and look a little bit deeper into each of these “job descriptions.”
Motivational. Inspirational. Teaching. Leadership. These are just a few of the adjectives that capture the essence of being a great coach. I love sports so when I hear the word “coach”, my mind is immediately filled with some of the great coaches in sports history. Guys like Vince Lombardi, George “The Gipper” Gipp, or the legendary George Halas. Then there’s always a local lore that brings my mind back to coaches of my favorite teams. Coaches like Bud Grant of the once dominant (never Super Bowl winning) Minnesota Vikings, Billy Martin of the Minnesota Twins or Murray Warmath of Gopher football fame. No matter who comes to mind for you, every successful coach possesses these traits.
Coaches are motivational. Some of the greatest speeches ever uttered have been shared in the locker room of college and professional sports teams. Continue reading →
A couple of months ago while home from college, my daughter and I spent a lunch together on one of our periodic dates. It was a great time to catch up with her and live in her world for a few hours. I have missed hearing the regular details of her life during her freshman year. You know, the personal details that spill out over dinner or in car rides to church. Our conversation ebbed and flowed. Then, during one of those pregnant pauses that mark every good conversation, I snatched the opportunity to buzz-kill a light discussion. I thought all dads did that ;). I never miss the opportunity to “teach” a life lesson, much to the chagrin of my children. “So, honey, as you look back on our days together as a family, are their things that I’ve done as a dad that you wish I hadn’t done or would have done differently or would change now?” Door opened. And she entered. Continue reading →