Welcome to Personal Development for Men Issue #7
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Go to Your Children's Events
I just heard a sad story.
A lady friend of my mother told her that when she was a girl, her father never went to any of her events. This lady sang and played musical instruments so she went to the musical solo ensembles and was in choirs and musicals. It was what she loved to do. She was musical and still is. My parents know her because they are in a choir together. She did the music thing in middle school and high school and has kept doing it all her life.
I thought maybe the father was extremely busy and tired from providing for his family that he never could attend anything. But the more I learned it does not seem to be the case. I tried giving him the benefit of the doubt but could not. Many men work or have worked so much and been so busy and exhausted providing that they have no time or energy to do anything extra.
But, sadly, this was not the case. Apparently the father did attend her sister's and brother's events from what I understand. He seemed to have free time and energy. He just chose not to go to her events for whatever reasons.
This woman is in her mid 70's and still carries the scar of her father not going to a single event during her childhood. Not one.
She is still talking about this more than 50 years later. It haunts her to this day.
What kind of a father would do that to his child when he had the time, the means and the ability to do what she so needed him to do?
It was not that he was too poor to go, or that he was working all day, every day. It was not that he was working on a side business that consumed all his time trying to get ahead to provide better for his family.
It sounds like the classic case of him favoring one or two children over another or just being so uninterested in his children that he could not be bothered.
To her it is a lack of acceptance and a withholding of love and it has been a problem that she has not come to terms with for her entire life.
Who knows why he did not attend? Is there any reason not to attend beyond taking care of your main responsibility of providing?
The best thing for you as a father is just to attend these events as much as you can. If you can't make it be sure your child knows why and that the excuse is valid and makes sense to your child.
Providing a living is a good excuse. Being exhausted from providing a living is a good excuse. Being unable to afford to go is a good excuse.
Not wanting to go is not a good excuse.
Preferring to watch some other fathers kids play sports on television is not a good excuse.
You can easily jump ahead of the pack of fathers by just going to these events as much as you can.
You can easily show love and attention on your children by going.
You don't want your children to carry these feelings of rejection and lack of love their entire life. Life is hard enough without wondering why your father did not love you in some way.
Going to these events is a form of love to a child.
Just go ahead and attend.
You can make it a lot easier on yourself by not requiring your children to be overly involved and not be in so many activities. There is no reason for a child to be so heavily scheduled that they have no free time to just relax to do nothing much in a structured way. Some structured activity is good as long as the child enjoys it and gets something out of it.
One method is to just let them try activities and not require them to keep doing the activity even when they grow bored with it. Let them quit.
Here is a list of the activities my kids have tried and quit:
1) Cub Scouts. My son was in for 2 years. It got to be so he just did not want to go. It was fine for awhile but he and I both grew bored with it.
2) Indoor hockey. My son quit after 2 years. He just outgrew the sport. He was too large to get good at it.
3) Basketball. My son quit after 1 year. He just did not like it.
3) Track. My son played 1 year. But he did not like it.
4) Piano lessons. My daughter took these lessons for 2 years. She still plays just without lessons.
5) Voice lessons. My daughter took these lessons for 3 years. She enjoyed them but kind of outgrew the instructor. She just sings on her own now.
My son now plays football, is in power lifting, has a part-time job, a steady girlfriend, some good friends and does well in school. His life as a junior in high school is very full. I went to all the football games and some of the power lifting meets.
My daughter is in volleyball and in all the school events. I go to all these events. She is busy with friends and also spends time making videos on YouTube and thinking of ways to make money on the internet.
This is not a long list by any means. I know people whose kids have been involved in so many activities it made my head spin. Listening to the stories of entire weekends and vacations built around these events just makes no sense to me. I don't want to live that way. My kids have my full support for the activities that they want to do. I have no way of knowing if any activity is good for them or not. I let them decide.
Since they are not overly involved it is not so difficult for me to attend and truthfully I have not attended everything. I miss some. But I have gone to most and they appreciate it.
Of course if you have fewer kids as I explained in an earlier email, it is easier to manage the time involved. See Issue #5, Easy Way to be a Better Dad from the link below -
Back Issues for Personal Development for Men
I am not one of those fathers that pushes his kids to be overly involved. I know how time consuming these things are and know that my kids do not want to always be doing something. Sometimes they just want to relax, watch tv or movies, listen to music, fool around on the computer and get together with friends. In fact, I think their favorite thing in the world is to get together with friends so that is what I help them do. I give the rides, pick them up and provide some money for movies, sodas, snacks and whatever.
Make sure you attend those events as much as you can.
How to Leave Your Wife
The book is my story of how I found the courage to leave my wife and get on with my life.
Look Better Fast
How a man can look better fast and help his son look better too.
More information from my website on being a single dad. Being a father is great whether you are single or married.
The Handsome Factor - This is a great resource for men, and especially young men to learn how to maximize your appearance.
Here is that link again to The Organized Single Dad, if you missed it.
The Organized Single Dad eBook
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