OK you’ve become a dad, you have a child relying upon you for food, shelter and safety, but they are only the physical needs of the child. Have you considered that this little person has emotional, mental and spiritual needs as well?
For your child to grow into maturity being well-balanced and prepared for the life ahead, we as fathers need to ensure that all areas of their needs are being satisfied.
Ultimately every fathers hope is that their child will live a healthy and happy life and our role is to help as best we can to bring that to pass. It is important therefore to have a broad parenting plan that includes some of the parenting issues that we all face in life.
Even from the moment of birth they already have many character traits hard-wired into their identity and physical make-up, and these are some of the elements that make them a unique individual. Some have blue eyes while others have brown, some have advanced co-ordination abilities and may become athletes while others exhibit an aptitude to become a musician. Some children are shy and need lots of encouragement before they will venture out in society, while others are the life of every gathering and enjoy being in the limelight.
Understanding how each child is hard-wired is important if we as fathers are to be able to provide the correct stimulus required.
It’s no use shelling out for ballet classes when your daughter really wants to play soccer and score goals on a football field. Nor is it advantageous continually pushing your son toward sports if he prefers to play with a chemistry set and dreams of curing cancer one day.
But how can we know in which direction our child’s gifting and abilities reside, so we don’t continue to push them into areas they are ill-equipped to succeed in? I believe the answer lies in 3 main areas:
3. Trial and Error
Communicating gently with the child and encouraging them to express the desires that are in their own heart is often a first step toward identifying areas of strength, although it may take patience and understanding to actually identify the real areas as opposed to the whims of childhood.
Observing your child as they play can also be advantageous in helping us identify natural abilities and aptitudes in certain areas. Some children excel at an early age in areas like computers or mathematics; some may show artistic flair in painting or an ability to speak confidently in front of crowds. All these are markers along the path that we as fathers need to follow to help us in finding our child’s areas of gifting.
It’s only through continual Trial and Error that we as fathers will be able to confirm that we have indeed identified the areas that will play a major part in our child’s life. Exposing your child to a broad range of activities over the developing years gives fathers a statistically better chance of identifying areas of gifting. This can often mean financial investments in football boots this year and buying a musical instrument next year, paying for a chemistry set or workshop or investing in a new computer program on Engineering.
By staying flexible in our own desires for their future roles in society we open the door for them to follow their own dreams and ultimately what every father hopes for is their child’s happiness.
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