Fathers should be appreciated all year… not just on one day! While Father’s Day is a tremendous idea, we all need to affirm Dads for their significance every day of the year.
I come from a long line of fantastic fathering men. My grandfathers were both grand fathering me from birth to their deaths. My Dad, in his 80’s, is still fathering me long distance and with just as much love, sincerity and respect as always. My husband has been an awesome father for 28 years. One of the problems with us mothers is that we sometimes spend too much time trying to get the fathers in our lives to mother, instead of just appreciating what fathering does for our children.
Fathers teach two very crucial concepts to children: how to trust themselves and how to take risks! Since men don’t have the same hormonal response as women when their kids move away from them, a familiar scenario often happens. Mom might go out to the park and ask her husband to watch the kids while she goes to the bathroom. When she returns, the kids are playing on the playground equipment, at the furthest point from where her husband is standing. He is in deep conversation with another Dad. Mom’s first response is usually, “why are you not watching the kids, they are way too far away and you weren’t even looking at them when I came out of the bathroom?”
The truth of the matter is, kids can move six times further away from a Dad, as opposed to a Mom, before he has any physical response like that alarm that goes off in Mom’s head saying, “where are the kids?” That does not mean that men love or protect their children any less than a woman. What it does mean is that fathers teach their kids that it is okay to trust your self and take risks.
So Moms, celebrate Father’s Day by valuing what Dad’s give kids!
In deep appreciation of fathers 365 days per year, Dr. Ann Corwin
In celebration of Mother’s Day, I’d like to share a special poem with you that was given to me by a mom that I had been working with earlier this year. She was a new mommy having trouble adjusting to being a stay-at-home-mom after the birth of her second child. She came seeking guidelines in managing her impatience with her children… the same impatience that many of us experience in trying to juggle life’s many demands. In the course of working with her, she found this poem and shared it with me, and today I share it with you as a subtle reminder to slow down and enjoy your precious children.
I bumped into a stranger as he passed by.
“Oh, excuse me, please,” was my reply.
He said, “Please excuse me too.
I wasn’t even watching for you.”
Oh, we were polite – this stranger and I.
We went on our way and we said our goodbye.
But at home a different story is told
how we treat our loved ones, young and old.
Later that day, cooking the evening meal,
my daughter stood beside me very still.
When I turned, I nearly knocked her down.
“Move out of the way!” I said with a frown.
She walked away, her little heart broken.
I didn’t realize how harshly I’d spoken.
Later that night, wide awake in my bed,
a still, small voice came to me and said,
“While dealing with a stranger, common courtesy you use,
but the children you love, you seem to abuse!
Look upon the kitchen floor,
you’ll find some flowers there by the door.
Those are the flowers she brought for you,
she picked them herself – pink, yellow and blue.
She stood quietly, not to spoil the surprise,
and you never saw the tears in her eyes.”
By this time, I felt very small,
and now my tears began to fall.
I quietly went and knelt by her bed,
“Wake up, sweetheart,” I whispered and said.
“Are these the flowers you picked for me?”
She smiled, “I found ‘em, out by the tree.
I picked ‘em because they’re pretty like you.
I knew that you’d like them – especially the blue.”
I said, “Daughter, I’m sorry how I acted to you today,
I shouldn’t have yelled at you that way.”
She hugged me and said, “Mommy, that’s okay.
You know I love you anyway.”
I said, “Daughter, I love you too!
And I do like the flowers – especially the blue.”
Dear Dr. Ann, I have a 3-year-old that will take toys out of other children’s hands, and cries if he doesn’t get to keep it. He seems to believe that all the toys are for his exclusive use only. How can I let him know that everyone can use toys?
– Saniyyah, Lancaster, CA
Dr. Ann Corwin, The Parenting Doctor Advice
Sharing is a developmental process. Toddlers don’t understand the concept, much less the act of sharing. They may begin to “share” between two or three, but that’s not always the case. Children don’t have the cognitive skills to reason until about the age of four. Until then, they are very concrete.
The ‘mine’ syndrome.
The “mine” syndrome your toddler exhibits, for example, has nothing to do with being aggressive, selfish or spoiled. But it has everything to do with the fact that objects at this age are like a part of themselves.
Sharing for them, means giving things up forever. Children don’t know if they will ever get their object back and are not really sure as to what it means not to have it. Children can’t tell time; so expecting them to share for only a few minutes is unrealistic.
Although this is a controversial topic, I don’t think that children should always be told to share. Some people think that if a child isn’t sharing, you have to yank whatever they have and demand that they share it.
Sharing is not only about giving and receiving a toy from another child, it is a much more complex and complicated issue. Sharing is about figuring out who we are. If something is yours, and you are aware of it, you are more likely to decide if you are going to share it or not.
Dr. Ann Corwin, The Parenting Doctor
Reprinted from A Place of Our Own
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