Tag Archives: parenting

Dad as Consultant – Last in the series

(as originally posted on the DadPad blog)

Coach…Counselor…now Consultant. Over the past three posts I’ve shared a few thoughts about the importance of these sub-roles of being a Dad. Remember that I have stated you don’t distinctly move into these roles but there are phases where they become critical and are inherent in that phase. Coaching is ongoing but is really important during the first 8-9 years of your child’s life. Being a Counselor will undoubtedly be required as long your children are living but it is especially critical during this next phase of your children’s development, between 8-14 years of age. Then, there’s consulting.  I’m experiencing newness in this final sub-role as the consultant.

Having been in a number of business positions over the past 26 years, I’ve dealt with a lot consultantof consultants. I’m not sure I want to emulate many of them. However, they play a pivotal role in most organizations. They are able to step into a situation and see things from the outside and give a perspective that’s sometimes hard to see for the organization embroiled in the same issues day after day. So it is with a dad during this stage of life as he speaks into the increasingly complex world of his children.

Unlike a business consultant who can step away and move onto the next job without much ongoing ownership (other than the pride of knowing something he/she did helped an organization), a Dad is not supposed to step away in that manner from his children’s lives.  However, in this phase you must be invited in by your kids, much as a consultant being invited in by a company.   Continue reading

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Dad as Counselor

(as originally posted on the DadPad)

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”.

dad_n_kidAs 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

Dad Duties – Dad as Coach, Counselor and Consultant Pt 1

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.”

locker-room-coach

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

Encouragement Paid Forward

My wife is a great note giver. For years she’s included a note or prayer in the kid’s lunch, in the luggage of a traveling family member or on a counter-top white board. Her diligence in this area spurred me on to express words of encouragement to my kids in similar ways. Shuffling though the Bible to find a relevant passage to leave with the kids before I left for work was one way I tried to encourage them in their daily activities.

Continue reading

The Weight of a Father

I’m getting to that age when it’s now recommended I see the physician annually for a “checkup”. Boy, it’s hard to admit I’ve arrived at that point in my life. I remember doing things and not even considering the potential consequences. I would ask my body to do something and it didn’t respond back, “Are you sure you want to do this?” I’m in relatively good health. Blood pressure and cholesterol run a little higher than I or my doctor would like. About 30 lbs overweight but pretty active and working on losing the extra weight.

NBC’s The Biggest Loser is one of the few shows our family watches regularly. In the skein of reality shows, it’s one of the few that promote something redeeming for participant and viewer alike and that overweight-mandon’t use the humiliation of people as the entertainment value. It’s amazing to watch the weight melt off of the contestants week after week. Every season the impact of carrying excess weight on virtually every other aspect of health related problems is evidenced. The loss of weight is tantamount to reducing or alleviating so many other symptoms of illness; diabetes, back and joint problems, high blood pressure and cholesterol and a slew of others. Living a long and healthy life is almost always directly related to shedding excess weight.

Being a father carries its own weight. Do you feel it, dad? Sometimes we want to shed the weight of being a dad like we want to lose pounds off the middle. But this is a weight we aren’t supposed to lose. We are reminded in song, verse and life that our kids are watching us. Rodney Atkins has a great music video about his 4 year old son both swearing and praying as a result of watching his dad. That’s a heavy thought, isn’t it? My kids are really no longer kids. At 21, 19 and 17 yrs of age, they have seen me in action thousands of days and in thousands of circumstances. Sometimes they caught what I did NOT want taught. Sometimes I got it right and modeled for them well. I know I haven’t always done it perfectly but I’ve always been aware that they are right there, even when they weren’t. Being a dad and living so that the next generation knows how to live well is a weighty dad-bowling-with-childresponsibility.

So, what things are you modeling or have you modeled to your kids that you prefer they not catch? Or, on the flip side, how has the model of your life equipped them to embrace God’s plan for their lives? These are good questions for us to consider each day. Not only does God have an interest in our daily conduct, but it’s imperative for our kids to see a life modeled well for them to even have a chance in this ever challenging world of ideals and changing values. They can’t live out what they don’t see lived. Notice, I didn’t say, “lived perfectly”. It’s not perfection they need modeled, but rather INTENTion. Ultimately, what matters for their sake is that we took the responsibility of being a dad seriously and carried the weight well.

So, while I intend on losing the 30lbs of excess weight in 2009, I also intend on carrying the weight of being a dad as a king carries the responsibility of leading a kingdom. How about you? Will you carry the weight of being a dad without the burden. Being a dad is a high calling. But, dad, remember that you don’t carry it alone. We have a loving Father who carries your burdens and asks you to give them to Him daily. Don’t run from the weight of fathering. Embrace it as the most important role you play. Pssst…as an aside, consider losing those pounds off the middle…your kids need you around as long as possible 😉

SOUND OFF: When you consider your role as a dad, what has been the most important lesson you’ve modeled (either good or bad) and how have you built that lesson into your children’s lives?

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