For Father's Day I encouraged my children to write a letter to their dad beyond the small gift we had picked out for him. I was so in awe of my 14 year old son's letter. It expresses so well the type of relationship I aim to help parents build with their children through parent coaching sessions, classes and my book.
Both my husband and son gave me permission to share this letter. Although my husband was touched by the letter from our son, he doesn't think he's doing anything extraordinary as a dad. That's the thing about it though: nothing in it is really extraordinary...these things just take time, patience, wisdom and love.
The other day my son was upset about some of our summer rules and guidelines when it comes to sleepovers, curfew and technology use. My husband and I could have let it be. We didn't have to take the time to discuss this further with him, but since our son wasn't being disrespectful about his frustration with us, my husband decided to talk with him more to explain our reasoning for our rules and guidelines. My husband did this in a way that seemed to connect with our son more. After a long discussion between the two of them, my son said, "Why do you have to always be so reasonable?" As my husband shared this statement with me after, I couldn't help but smile.
My hope for you, as a parent, is that you can make room for these moments each day. They will make such a difference in your child's life far more than you'll ever really know.
Thank you for being my dad. You have always been there for me whenever I need it. Thank you for always being able to help with my homework and explaining how you did the problem. It's not just in homework, it's whenever I'm confused about a decision. You explain it to me in a way that I can understand everyone's point of view.
Also, thank you for always having empathy (mostly for me) and being able to listen to what I have to say. Thank you for being the greatest dad to me!
Love, Your Son