This activity caused me to reflect. What does it mean to be a Family Forever? I think fundamentally it's about love. We must learn to love. Without love, why would you even want to be with someone forever? I think it's about learning to appreciate each other's differences and love each other's strengths.
They don't offer "dad" training in school... at least not unless you really look for it and even if they did, I doubt they could teach you enough. I think being a dad is a learning process. It's a position that is ever changing with the evolution of the home. Being a dad to an infant is going to be different than being a dad to a child, teenager, etc. Even though the things are moving around you, I think you have to at least be founded in a few basic principles and then apply these principles appropriately for the needs of the family. I think among these principles are love, hard work and looking at things with an "eternal perspective". Dad's need to love. Children will learn this love from both Mom and Dad. The need help figuring out how to apply that love. Dad's have to work hard. If they are working outside the home, they need to find a balance between work and home-life. David O McKay said:
"No Other Success Can Compensate for Failure in the Home"
This rings true to me. As a dad you must work hard, but don't get carried away from what your family needs from you. Finally, a dad must look at things with an eternal perspective. You child may not remember the thing he broke, but he might remember getting yelled at in anger. Kids act as what they are. They are going to break things. That's part of learning. If an accident happens and it disturbs your emotions (as it does me all too-often), you aren't looking at things from an eternal perspective. That item most likely can be replaced. But even if it cannot be replaced, neither can your son or daughter. Which one is more important too you? In 20 years, is that thing going to matter? What about in the eternities?
Sometimes, I think modern parents become too easily helicopter parents -some even gunship-helicopter parents. We don't let our kids be kids. We are constantly on their backs harassing them about standing too close to the road or constantly watching them if they are let outside. I think this attitude is a consequence of the amount of information we have access to and are exposed to on a daily basis. Because of the Internet, any and every bad thing that ever happens will be blasted into our ears and into our eyes. We'll know about it. However, I don't think data supports this. We feel like violence is increasing, but generally, it is decreasing. Our perception is that these are the last days. They are, but maybe not in the way we think. I catch myself patrolling in the helicopter, but I'm starting to back off. I wonder what kind of children I will have if they never had an difficult experience, or made a mistake, or fell off a bike until they left home as an adult. I'm not suggesting we as parents let our kids ride the subway and find their own way home alone -but maybe I am -if they are ready for it.
This blog has become a random assortment of what's on my mind. I feel very blessed.