May 16, 2012

"...For The Rest of Her Life"

I’m the father of four boys.  The only thing pink in my house is the dampness indicator on my cell phone battery.  

I have no idea what it’s like to sit at a tea party, to sit in front of WalMart selling Girl Scout cookies, or to sit with a daughter who’s just had her heart broken by a boy.  To me, it’s like visiting Holland.  I’m sure it’s a nice place, but I’ve just never been there.

I’ve done the math and calculated that raising girls is eleven times more challenging than raising boys.  Is that about right?  Every day, every hour, fathers of daughters set the standard of what these beautiful flowers are going to expect from men in their grown up lives. 

I’m a little reluctant to ask Chris Rock to drive this point home for me, but a short clip from one of his comedy routine sums up the issue perfectly.  Here's the link. (Be aware, Rock uses coarse subject matter and language I do not condone. Please watch judiciously.)

Chris Rock makes a dramatic point that every dad needs to understand:
“My relationship with my daughter is going to affecther relationship with men for the rest of her life.”
As the father of boys, I’ve had the privilege of hosting innumerable young ladies in my home.  My heart always breaks for the girls who have “daddy issues” – the ones’ whose father is not doing the heavy lifting of being a good dad.  Please read my previous post on this related topic.  Dads of daughters, I salute you and I applaud you.  I tremble at the thought of what you face every day. 

As we move toward Father’s Day, I want to ask my readers, fathers of daughters and/or sons, to consider again your influence upon your children’s friends.  Many of them come into your home and feel a safety and peace they quietly, desperately hunger for.  

Be the dad to each and every one of these kids.  Get to know them.  Ask about their lives, their school, their family.  Show an interest in them just like you show interest in your own children.  Yup, your own kids will cringe occasionally, but over time, they’ll understand what you’re doing.

Why do this?  Because if ever a child enters your home and that child needs a father to look up to - be that dad.  Don't miss an opportunity to show a child that there are great dads out there who care, who love, who lead with grace.  Give them something to hope for even if they don't see it at home.

And one more thing.  Dads tend to have friends who are dads.  Would you consider encouraging them?  Every dad personally feels the weight of being the leader of the family.  Every dad I know constantly takes inventory of how he’s doing and whether the kids “are going to turn out alright”.  Take the lead and encourage other dads.

I hope by now that you know that I admire the work that National Center for Fathering.  I’ve contributed articles to them for a couple decades.  It’s Good To Be The Dad is an “official blog” of NCF and gets a lot of exposure thanks to them.  I believe whole-heartedly in what they do.  
  • Please, visit the website and find out more about their great resources.  
  • Please, LIKE their Facebook page.  
  • Please, sign up for their weekly email where once a week, Carey Casey, NCF’s dynamic CEO writes a blog that will inspire, equip, and maybe even entertain you.  Don’t miss it.

Now finally, if perchance I ruffled your feathers with Chris Rock, let me soothe them with this superb video from the good folks at Volkswagen.

Go Dad, GO!  It’s good to be the dad.

Clark H Smith