Every man has an incredible power to heal his children from what wounds their souls most deeply. But this same power to heal is a double-edged sword; it is the same power than enables a father to hurt his children more than any other person can.
Recently I had a conversation with a friend, the father of three girls. He mentioned during our talk that he was going to a big basketball game with just his eldest daughter, and he proceeded to recount how this father-daughter date came about.
He noticed that he had been caught up with work, his wife, and the two youngest girls, but he hadn’t been spending much one-on-one time with his oldest. He sensed some distance in his relationship with her. So he manned up and asked her about it, point blank: “Annie, do you feel like I don’t spend enough time with you?” He hit the nail on the head, and Annie started to cry.
Fathers have the power to wound deeply by their actions (or lack of them) and by their words (or lack of them). We are probably all very familiar with this when we’ve really stepped in it and hurt our kids. And often it’s not just a little bit, it’s a lot. In this case, my friend spent a fair amount of time neglecting his eldest daughter, who is in those tender middle school years when he’s perhaps needed the most. But the good news is that fathers also have the power to fix things too, and fast, simply because of who they are.
My friend acknowledged his daughter’s feelings and then did something about it. Annie had just joined the basketball team at her middle school, so a father-daughter date to a college level basketball game was just what the doctor ordered. Annie felt better immediately and began to look forward to game-day with her dad, and the wound was healed instantly. My friend said that all his daughter’s accumulating hurt was erased from memory in a heartbeat; Annie was acknowledged, and he did something about it. The neglectful father was quickly transformed into a superhero, and everything was okay again. Incidentally, this also works for wives and sons too.
Can you relate with what I’ve mentioned here? Have you had similar experience with your kids?