Spiritual Networks

What Is A Dad

As a dad, I . . .

  • was determined to bond early, believing it would call me back when I inevitably strayed,
  • was intent on meeting and joining her with curiosity and without judgment in her experience of the world, and to learn from her,
  • chose to take time to make more or less daily, close, extended contact (“quality time”), and in particular, to have fun together,
  • respected her choices, made sure she recognized them, and helped her to learn from them,
  • did my best not to make a choice for her that she could make for herself,
  • consistently invited her to notice when she was proud of herself, and then to celebrate with her,
  • used words and touch every day to tell her that I loved her, no matter how she was feeling,
  • was dependably interested in understanding her feelings and her inner world, while also respecting her need for privacy,
  • shared with her the things in life that I enjoyed, for example, music, sports, and movies,
  • allowed her to be different from me, to not like what I like, and to like what I don’t,
  • let her see what I valued by how I chose to live, rather than telling her how she should live,
  • worked diligently and deeply for many years to heal my inner wounds so as to pass on as little unresolved fear and pain as possible,
  • explored with her the ‘experience-of-fear-while-being-safe’, to help her learn not to be afraid of fear,
  • let her be close to and struggle with her mother, without imposing my needs or presuming to fix, and, tended my relationship with my wife without involving her,
  • told her the truth about my vulnerabilities, letting her set the limit on how much she wanted to know.

June 2013

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