Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Blessing of an Involved Dad

At the beginning of August, I left for 2.5 weeks to speak at a convention in California and then to work at the My Father's World office as a homeschool consultant (fancy speak for answering phone calls and fielding questions).  That means that Scott had the kids at home for 1.5 weeks and then took them all on a road trip to Space Camp for a week.  Yes, by himself.  He is a brave man.

Now, the first thing a Mom has to realize and release is that Dad will not do things in the same way a Mom will.  No way, no how.  However, a smart Mom should recognize that this is  blessing.  When Mom steps out of the way and lets Dad (or makes Dad, while still feeling like she might be feeding him to the lions) some very beautiful things happen.

1.  Dad and kids start forming relationships that they might never have had if Mom was always there.  My kids formed deeper relationships with their Dad because I haven't been there.

2.  Dads teach kids things that a Mom would never think of.  For example:

Spam and Mac and Cheese are awesome.  (Mom might not agree with all of these things)

Cleaning the floor with a wash cloth is fine as long as the floor gets clean and then the cloth gets tossed in the washer.

If you can't find enough clean underwear for said road trip, go to Wal-Mart and buy new ones.

Building a Van De Graff generator is a great way to spend an evening.

We are all in this together and if Mom comes home to a dirty house, we are all going to pay.

Demerit systems as a discipline technique.  Who knew?

3.  I don't think that my kids will ever forget that the one thing their Dad wanted for his 40th Birthday was to go to Space Camp with all of them.  He could have gone by himself by no, he wanted them to experience it with him.  That, is by far the best thing he could have done for them.  That his best present was to spend time with them and then made it happen on a 2 day each way road trip.

Prayerfully, all of our husbands are involved Dads.  I found that praising, encouraging and asking my husband to be involved was far better than demanding he be involved in our kids life.  We Moms need to be careful not to criticize our husbands when they do things their way.  Have the kids survived?  Did they eat? Did they have a good time?  Did they learn something new?  Then great!  You can clean the mess up, give them vegetables and no sugar for the next week and put them to bed early to make up for the sleep they lost.  All of these things seem big but in the grand scheme of things, like your kids and their Dad having a vibrant relationship, they are tiny indeed.


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