TIP 25. DON'T SHOW FAVOURITISM
When our wife's pregnancy has progressed to childbirth, we as the father also graduate from a 'dad to be' and finally become a father. When this happens our life focus is substantially altered and now much of our time and energy is spent on this wonderful new addition to our family. For a while at least your first born child is the centre of attention, and usually gets showered with gifts and plenty of play time with dad etc.
Becoming a father is a wonderful life changing experience for many dads, and when they hold their beautiful son or daughter for the first time many men are so deeply moved, that tears flow in joy. That little person then becomes the centre of their world at least until the second little bundle of joy arrives.
Suddenly there needs to be another shift in our focus, and we having now become a father of two are required to adopt a new perspective to ensure that everyone's needs are being with fairness and equality . It is in these times especially , that 'being forewarned is being forearmed', and a small initial adjustment can help avoid major problems later in life.
It is easy to fall into the trap of showing favouritism to one child or another, even without thinking about it. As fathers we may gravitate or connect with one child more than another, especially if we have a similar temperament to the child. It is important to be aware of this possibility so that we can recognise it and take steps to avoid the negative results that it can bring into the family.
Each child is an individual, uniquely designed by the hand of God, all having their own needs that they look to you as the father, to fulfil. They all have their own strengths and weaknesses, and some are very astute at 'wrapping their dads around their little fingers' if given the chance.
We may not think that the children notice if we spend more time with this child rather than that one, but they do. What may start as a little prickle in your relationship may end up becoming a wedge between you that it is not always easy to overcome. If a child thinks that dad is spending more time with 'them' rather than 'me', they can begin to feel 'left out' or 'unwanted', and this can lead to walls of resentment being built up.
I realise that there are some 'special needs' children that will require a lot more time than their siblings, and that it is impossible to avoid this. In this situation it is important to spend time discussing the situation with the child/children who are missing out and asking for their help and understanding.
Often all it takes is setting aside specific time to 'connect' with each child and make them feel special too. Each of your children need regular specific time when 'they' are the sole centre of your attention, a time when they can feel loved and accepted by 'dad'.
Dads' Call To Action:
Be aware of the possibility that you may gravitate easier toward one child over another. Recognise it early and ensure that you 'connect' with each child on a regular basis.
(Luke 15 v 11-12)
Then He said: 'A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, "Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me." So he divided to them his livelihood.