This article is coming form my perspective as a private parenting coach to several dads. It does not relate to all dads. I want to honor the dads I see changing and share their stories.
It all starts with a dad who wants better relationships at home. These dads are willing to ask, “What can I do differently? How can I build a more respectful relationship with my kids?” So it starts with dads taking responsibility for their part of the interactions. Every time a dad changes, the kids respond differently.
Men are often taught to use power to get change. This is often the case in the business world. Then they come home and try to use power with their kids. It does not work. Kids rebel because their innate being knows they deserve respect and care. The dads that are successful in changing and becoming happier about their actions are the ones open to letting go of power as the basis for change. The dads that don’t change are the ones who continue to repeat, “But my child should show respect to me.” They don’t stay for help and I’m sure they are still feeling disrespected.
The dads who change self-reflect about their negative comments to their kids and care that their children feel hurt. This empathy towards their children is crucial. Once they realize they have caused their children pain, the next step is that they apologize for their disrespectful actions and mean it from their heart. .
At the same time, these dads are learning what triggers their anger. Usually, they are feeling hurt and they hurt their children in response. Watch for part two where I will continue to explore how dads are changing.
Have you seen a dad change in this way? Do you know a dad or grandfather who would like to change?
Cynthia Klein has been a certified parent educator since 1994. She enjoys working with men and even helps dads in custody court cases. She has testified on a dad’s behalf after working with her. Contact her at bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com. 650.341.0779