You’re my son/daughter. You mean the world to me. I love you. When you do something great, I love you. When you do something wrong, I love you. I want the best for you. That is why I am hard on you. Do not ever think me challenging you, pushing you, correcting you, denying you, is ever me not caring or not loving you. I do everything because I care. You just don’t see what I see but I promise every I do is to make sure you turn out to be a great person that has a great life.
I think a lot of parents do the right thing but fail to explain their why. Maybe they have trouble crafting the words in the right way or maybe it’s just a dictorial attitude. Either way, it eases the troubles in a youngster’s mind when they know your intent. If you explain why they will not be in years of therapy trying to get PHD to explain it to them.
This way even if you turn out to be wrong everyone is on the same page that your intent was for good.
This way they can ask questions and learn. Maybe even create a conversation that results in Dad slightly altering his strategy (teaching that it’s okay to make new decisions on new information.)
This way kids can gain you’re perspective and see the value in the things you are teaching like: Restraint, Patience, Self-Control, Work Ethic, Cause & Effect, kindness, compassion, honor, respect, chivalry, faith…..among many many others.
I have always been in the mind of guiding to become functional productive amazing adults. That means fostering an environment that allows independence, freedom, thoughts, celebration while at the same time creating structure, consequences, the word “no”, failure……
Being a Dad is not easy. There are a lot of decisions you need to make on the fly. There are uncomfortable discussions you must have. You must remember repetition is insanely important with kids. If you said it once they did not hear it. There are a thousand angles we must think about with a ton of factors. That’s why it is so important for Dad to be involved from the very beginning. To bond and have a good relationship in those early years. To know what type of person we want our kids to become. To know our family values, morals, and ethics. Because if you do not know the destination you cannot guide them. You are giving instructions to an unknown destination.
Foundations matter. I love you. I want the best for you. This is why I challenge you. This is why I let you fail. This is why I don’t keep you from experiencing pain. This is why I challenge you. This is why I insist we go camping. This is why you can’t go out with your friends….
Have this conversation. Have it often.