One of the things I’m realizing more and more as I go with this parenting thing is that it’s not my job to tell my son who he should be or what he should do, but rather to guide and support him as he finds his own path. Early on that may involve a bit more firm boundaries and direction, but the older and more capable he gets the more I need to allow him (within reason) to make his own decisions, make mistakes, then learn from those mistakes and try to fix them himself. Experience and failure are extremely good motivators and I hope to guide my son and give him the chance to encounter plenty of both. However, there are definitely some thoughts and suggestions I would love to give him as he grows and hope that he finds comfort and guidance in my words. Below I’ve jotted down a few thoughts I hope to share with my son and my daughter as well when she joins us.
-I believe that God created me and Jesus saved me and that living my life for him is the best thing I can do. I sin and fall short often and have definitely had times of doubt, but I know he’s always there for me and always forgives and loves me. I will never force you to believe what I believe, but I will pray for you always and hope you choose to follow God and glorify him somehow. I want you to know that I will love you always, no matter what you choose or do, whether we always agree or not, there is nothing that can take away my love for you!
-Family is the most important thing in my life and I hope that as you grow discover how important family is. Not all families are supportive and functional, and so if you have family that is (and you definitely do :), make sure to cherish and make time for them. For me jobs, career, hobbies, opportunities and dreams…all take a back seat to supporting and taking care of my family, and there is nothing more important than spending quality time with the people you love.
-There is nothing that you “can’t” do but probably quite a few things you may not be able to do well. Try your best, practice hard, and focus on doing more of the things you are successful at and trying to improve on the things you struggle with.
-My son, if you are like me and lots of men you will have to work hard to control your thoughts and your eyes as they can often lead you astray. Be strong mentally and talk and act respectfully to women and you will have lasting relationships based on mutual love and understanding. My daughter, be a strong woman. Define for yourself who you are and what you want to do. As you grow, associate yourself with people who will support and honor you and appreciate you for more than your looks.
-Always remember to take time for fun! You are never too old to play 🙂 Life is hard and stressful…being an adult can often be no fun…make sure to take time to act like a kid and try to laugh and smile often.
-There is a lot of hatred and anger and fear in the world. I encourage you to treat every person with love and respect regardless of whether they look like you or believe what you do. Listening, learning and trying to understand other perspectives and backgrounds will help you find and define yourself.
This is fatherhood…