Father's Day is here so it is a great time for dads and kids to pause and reflect on the bond they share. It is also beautiful day to say thank you to dads, appreciate and acknowledge their role, admitting that those are big shoes to fill. Fathers, after all, have the steely endurance to shoulder responsibilities of family, career, finances and social life.
Success for a father has no unanimous definition. It may seem to be about how much physical, social and financial comfort a dad can provide, but the emotional bond he shares with his children is key. Whether toddler or teenager, a child wants quality time and energy from the dad. He is expected to fulfill their needs, and know when to intervene or withdraw. So the onus of establishing and sustaining a beautiful, loving, relationship rests with him.
Here's how a father can articulate his bond with his child.
Starting early, very early
As a dad, the pre-natal bond that begins when my child is in the mother's womb has a huge role for me. I should keep my mind positive and cheerful. Every thought I create for my child travels as vibrations, providing emotional nourishment. So I should radiate loving, comforting, welcoming thoughts. Conflicts, anger, anxiety, and other negative emotions should be avoided. I should not create thoughts of gender preference as my child catches the thought and feels unwanted if it is of the opposite gender.
It is important how I feel when playing, talking, carrying, cuddling or calming my child—do I create thoughts of love and comfort? Or do I create irritation...?
Substance addictions for me and my wife must be an absolute no. If I indulge in smoking or alcohol, I radiate vibrations of addiction to the child. It not only depletes my emotional strength, it influences my child's mind and body. I must refrain right from this stage and to stay away from any form of addiction, for life.
Babyhood, the best time to bond
This is the finest time to forge a strong emotional connect. Participating in baby-care tasks is one thing, but my state of mind while doing them is another. It is important how I feel when playing, talking, carrying, cuddling or calming my child—do I create thoughts of love and comfort? Or do I create irritation, hurrying up so I get back to other work? The latter sends vibrations of rejection to my child.
Understanding childhood sentiments
The childhood years expose a dad's temperament. My child may not always behave the way I think is right, so I need patience—when I listen, assist with studies, play, eat, go on family outings and so on. Patience comes by understanding that my child is only behaving age-appropriately.
My child's odd tantrums will be gone soon. Till then I should be a doting and disciplining dad in the same breath. I should be firm but never resort to anger or punishment, as they radiate vibrations of rejection and deplete my child emotionally. My role is to first accept, then empower.
Being a 'role model' moral educator
Children absorb what is around them as vibrations and behave the same way. So morals and values cannot be taught but are to be lived by parents so they become a part of the child's personality. Humility, integrity, transparency, honesty must be used always, not sometimes. Honesty in simple acts like admitting to mistakes, paying taxes, paying a fine if I broke traffic rules, and so on are essential.
[H]ow I take care of my wife creates a big influence on my relationship with my child.
Another significant value to uphold is respect—how I talk to or treat family, friends, neighbours, colleagues, domestic help, vendors, service personnel of any kind. All my morals should flow in every situation with everyone, not just when my child is around.
Children share a deep connect with their mom. They naturally take a liking to anyone who treats the mother well. So, how I take care of my wife creates a big influence on my relationship with my child. Of course, it is implicit that I always respect my wife, not only for the sake of my child.
Empathising with pre-teens and teens
Apart from challenges posed by adolescence, a child grapples with peer pressure, media, expectations and competition. So I must continue giving acceptance, approval and appreciation so my child can share everything, trusting me to respond with stability rather than react out of impulsiveness. Only my calmness can open up a discussion where I can advise or guide.
Don't simply care. Connect.
We have a generation of children exposed to an unsafe environment. The only way to shield them is to have a strong emotional bond. With that, mutual trust, respect and love grow over time. If we have inner power, patience, compassion, love and joy, children will have them. If we lack these, so will they.
Fatherhood is an immensely gratifying journey. By being aligned to the original nature of peace, love and joy, every dad will raise a golden child.
You can reach BK Shivani at email@example.com