Dads, Do You Honestly Have a Close Bond With Your Children?

by | May 1, 2014 | Man

In a recent blog post, I highlighted some recent research about the most important factor when it comes to passing our faith and values on to our children. It isn’t regular teaching sessions or setting the right example or involving kids in larger communities that promote those values, like a church.

All those things are important, but the biggest key is a warm, close connection between the child and father. I have kept thinking about this groundbreaking insight, and I believe there’s more I can do to help you apply this in practical ways with your children.

For example, what is a warm relationship with your child? What does it look like? How can you tell if you have one?

I was talking with another dad on our staff about this, and our discussion led to questions like, “What’s the atmosphere when you’re together? Are you approachable as a dad? Is there a general feeling of easiness and acceptance, or tension and distance?”

All relationships go through seasons where we feel more distant or more comfortable being together. But I think you probably know the overriding mood between you and your kids.

I think this is a real challenge for dads, based on my own experiences as a father and conversations I’ve had with other guys. We too easily get caught up in the daily schedule and the challenges of life, we get distracted by our gadgets, or there’s some other factor that makes us impatient or snippy with our kids. Or we get into negative patterns that we don’t think we can change and so we settle in and just get through the days. If our children aren’t getting our very best, well, at least we’re providing the basic things they need.

That’s understandable, but it isn’t our best as fathers, and it isn’t ideal for children as they go through life. They need us to be fully engaged, creating the kind of bond that gives them confidence and security. They don’t need to be worrying with questions like, What’s up with Dad?” Or, “Why can’t I ever do enough to please him?”

So, how do we create the kind of warmth that brings the other great benefits? Every relationship is different, and I’d be foolish if I said there was a four-step formula. But I also want to share what seems to work for me, and I hope these will be helpful for you:

1. Make your kids a high priority, and let it show. I know you love your kids, but I also know they can tell when you’d rather be doing something besides hanging out with them.

Just imagine what they’re thinking and feeling when you’re willing to put aside what you’re doing because you really do enjoy being with them. That’s when they start trusting you more, opening up about what’s going on in their lives and seeking you out to do things. Sure, it takes a lot of effort and energy, but it’s worth it.

2. Enter their world. Your children probably have hobbies and interests that are not what you naturally enjoy. The kids can do things for hours that would bore you in five minutes.

This is a real challenge for me, but the times when I really invest myself in finding out more about what my son enjoys and why he enjoys it, pretty soon it becomes interesting and fun for me too. And I often see a side of him that I hadn’t noticed before. I can tell that my effort to enter his world is affirming for him, and it adds a sense of greater understanding and comfort to our friendship. I’m less likely to talk down to him as a silly, immature kid, and I’m more likely to show respect for who he is.

3. Push things deeper and risk discomfort. There are some situations that are easier to avoid or let someone else handle. But if you’re going to have that close connection with your children, you can’t sit on the sidelines or assume they will get the wisdom they need on their own. You have to be willing to push beyond the everyday, ordinary interactions and address the tough issues.

Maybe it’s having an involved discussion about your beliefs or about dangerous behaviors that other kids are getting into. Maybe it’s taking a stand and holding your child accountable with hard consequences.

On the other side, maybe it means expressing love and appreciation for your children from your heart, even though, based on your personality or your upbringing, it might feel unnatural or “unmanly” to say, “I love you,” or give your kids hugs and kisses. Don’t assume they know how much you love them! Go deeper and speak those words they need to hear. Or start with fist bumps and squeezes on the shoulder as you work up to bear hugs.

4. Maintain a steady demeanor—not too high or low. My dad really had this one down. He didn’t get overly excited when I did something well, and he didn’t go crazy when I messed up. I definitely knew when he was happy or disappointed with me, but nothing really changed the overall mood of our relationship.

This is also important because your kids will go through a lot of changes and adjustments. Your 5-year-old might think you’re the coolest guy on the planet, and then your teenager might want nothing to do with you. Stay consistent and keep doing what you know is best through all the ups and downs. The relationship may change through the years, and it will probably feel different, but your child doesn’t need you any less.

Dads, what’s have I missed here? What is your secret for building that close bond with your kids? Please let us hear your feedback.

Action Points for Dads on the Journey

  • Take genuine interest in something your child enjoys, especially if it isn’t something that naturally appeals to you. Spend a good half-hour checking it out and asking your child about it, what appeals to her, etc.
  • Ask someone who knows your family well—your child’s mom or another close friend—“Would you say my kids and I are close? What makes you say that?”
  • Make plans for a one-on-one outing with each of your kids in the next few weeks—something they enjoy, where you can just have fun and laugh together.
  • Initiate a discussion with your child—in terms appropriate for his/her age—about a topic that’s important to you or a lesson you learned the hard way.
  • Get feedback on 13 specific areas of your fathering—and action plans for the ones you may need to address—using our Championship Fathering Profile (CFP).

Carey Casey is the CEO of the National Center for Fathering, a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the culture of fathering in America by enlisting 6.5 million fathers to make the Championship Fathering Commitment. NCF believes that every child needs a dad they can count on, and uses its resources to inspire and equip men to be the involved fathers, grandfathers and father figures their children need. Subscribe to his weekly email tip by clicking here: “Yes! I want tips on how to be a great dad who lives out loving, coaching and modeling for my children.

For the original article visit fathers.com.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

How Prophetic Evangelism Is Impacting Change in Today’s Culture

How Prophetic Evangelism Is Impacting Change in Today’s Culture

Dr. Candice Smithyman, host of Manifest His Presence on the Charisma Podcast Network, recently interviewed apostle Stacey Campbell, founder of Shiloh Global about how prophecy can impact today’s culture. Apostle Campbell is passionate about teaching young people and...

Joyce Meyer’s Daughter: ‘I Tried Until I Almost Died!’

Joyce Meyer’s Daughter: ‘I Tried Until I Almost Died!’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xc14ip0XyOw Growing up as the daughter of Dave and Joyce Meyer, Sandra McCollom knew about God’s goodness and unconditional love. “At eight years old, I remember sitting on the floor as my mom shared her faith with me. That’s when I...

Prophet: 10 Essential Guardrails for Hearing God’s Voice

Prophet: 10 Essential Guardrails for Hearing God’s Voice

In the journey of hearing God's voice today effectively and accurately, you need the practical and personal work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus clearly told his followers that those who hear His words and put them into practice are wise! "Whoever hears these sayings of...

Prophetic Vision: Three Tables Are Set

Prophetic Vision: Three Tables Are Set

Recently as I was worshipping the Lord, I went into a vision where I could see I was in a dark and very deep valley. It was nighttime, and the valley was surrounded by tall mountains. On the top of each I could see the outlines of men and instinctively knew they were...

How Your Apostolic and Prophetic Worship Will Hurt the Enemy

How Your Apostolic and Prophetic Worship Will Hurt the Enemy

We are living in a time where it seems that dreams and visions are accelerating. The enemy fights against prophetic insight being poured out according to Joel 2:28-32. Numerous deliverance ministries have risen up to combat the ‘Pandora's box’ that was released in...

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Do you think the God of the Old Testament is a God of wrath, and the God of the New Testament is a God of love? The truth is that God is the same throughout the entire Bible. His wrath and His love are revealed in both the Old and the New Testaments. So why, then, did...

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

Your heart is the most important part of you. It’s not only a physical organ that keeps your blood pumping, but when the Bible refers to the heart, it’s talking about who you really are. Each person has an inner and an outer life. There’s the person we show to...

RECENT ARTICLES

Cindy Jacobs Prophesies: The Lord Says, ‘Am I Not the Mender of Broken Hearts?’

I was just praying and asking the Lord, “How can I encourage you all today?” I know there are so many challenges out there, but this is what the Lord said to me. The Lord said, “There are some...
How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

It's been a few days since the FBI raided President Donald Trump's home in Mar-a-Lago, and the Biden Administration has yet to explain to the American people why they did what's never been done in American history—the government raiding the home of a former president....

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

My husband had a saying for our children growing up. “Partial obedience is disobedience.” He wanted them to understand that doing half the plan would not get them the full reward. Another reminder we used to tell our kids was, “Don’t think about it, don’t hesitate,...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]