a reply to: TechniXcality
You are quite welcome.
You are also welcome to PM me with specific questions.
Let me ponder what other suggestions I might offer . . . knowing next to nothing about your situation. LOL.
Since I tend to rush in where angels fear to tread. LOL.
. . . .
1. A father's affirmation is a highly valued thing--HIGHLY valued. However, it must still be with integrity. Avoid cheapening it by celebrating
breathing or walking and chewing come competently. LOL. Give it in focused ways for quality stuff.
2. There is a teaching to avoid praising and affirming behaviors. I guess I'm not that into such a mentality. I sort of understand where such a
movement is ostensibly coming from . . . I think I just mostly disagree. I think that kids have a very rough time in our culture--particularly in
split homes--and that they can use all the solid and reasonable affirmation they can get--particularly from DAD.
3. I think I'd spend some significant time gently but firmly affirming each child's strengths. And help them learn to capitalize on their unique
4. I'd also read Chapman's THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES and become an expert at loving each child in their top 2 preferred love languages.
5. I'd certainly be lavish with healthy affection--even if I had to do it with a video monitor running all the time.
6. I think I'd show disappointment at errors and certainly at rebellion and defiance--wouldn't tolerate those but would have to try and come up with
some tailor made strategies to disaffirm and extinguish those behaviors.
6.1 There's a book about HOW TO RAISE THINKING KIDS . . . TEENS etc. Those books have some great ideas for getting kids to think through the
consequences of their choices and actions in a way that puts the kid in charge of their life and teaches them to anticipate the reactions of others
and of life in general to how they act and speak. Great stuff. Kids with that training do best in school and later in life.
7. I'd work very hard to minimize the negative when I was with the kids. But I'd resist selfish, self-centered manipulations to turn me into strictly
a wimp of a sugar daddy. Kids are smart enough not to respect that even though they will do every manipulative thing they can to create it and play it
for all it's worth.
8. I'd have some strict foundational boundaries about what was right and wrong--very core crucial stuff. And I'd soft peddle the rest of the lesser
important issues. And, again, defiance and rebellion would be biggies, with me.
9. I"d become an expert at REFLEXIVE LISTENING--feeding back to the kids in my own words what heard them saying--particularly about their feelings
underlying the words they used.
--It sound to me like you may be feeling ______________ about _______________
--I think I'm hearing you say that you felt _________________ when _______________
--Maybe you are feeling torn between ________________ and __________________
--You sure sounded excited about getting the new puppy. Your eyes really lit up and your smile was huge!
--You sounded really hurt about that situation; what ___________ said to you/did to you.
. . .
. . .
10. I'd make very certain that they heard frequent assertions about how wonderful I felt when I spent time with them--just for them being them and
being in my life. No performance expectations--just them being them thrilled me. I'd make that repeatedly and abundantly clear in a variety of
changing statements, comments etc.
11. I'd be REAL with them. I think that's one of the priceless things that Dads can give well--taking life on real terms; talking about the real nitty
gritties of life; and talking about overcoming in the nitty gritty of life--and about how things don't always go as we'd like--and how we have to pick
up and go on--overcoming even then.
11.1 There's an old movie about the Krakatoa eruption . . . and the hardships of the Dutch and natives at that time. It would be hard for those too
young but might be good for older ones to watch and discuss with Dad.
12. I'd minimize gifts of THINGS to them vs QUALITY AND QUANTITY EMOTIONALLY CONNECTED TIME with them. And, I might implement a saving program . . .
and update them on the status every time or month or some such. Maybe letting them spend XYZ amount on their birthday and Christmas.
13. I'd get a few packs of 4 X 6" cards and write surprises on them . . . love notes; jokes; puzzles; strange factoids etc. and put them in their
shoes after they fell asleep; on top of their cereal; in their clean laundry; lunch boxes etc.
14. I'd tell them true stories from my own childhood and struggles and hard lessons learned.
15. I'd tell them true stories about my dad and granddad.
16. I might start a fiction story with them about us being marooned on a tropical island for 20 years. I'd invite them to tell or write the next
section trading off and on with them about creating the story. I'd record it if it wasn't written.
17. When they really liked something--whether clothes, sports, movies, games or whatever, I'd help them learn to express WHAT they most liked about
it. Ditto when they hated something. Draw them out--teach them skilled constructive analysis and expressiveness.
18. I might ask them very occasionally what they most missed about me when they weren't with me. And I'd tell them what I most missed about them.
19. I'd ask them what they'd do with unlimited money. Then I'd ask them what a no-cost substitute might be fore the 3 top things.
20. I might learn a craft or art with them that they were truly interested in. I'd insist some persistence in it to at least a point of truly learning
the basics. No bailing out from disinterest, being bored or feeling stupid or incompetent. Persistence is a priceless skill to learn in life. And the
capacity to avoid being bored is also valuable.
I'll stop there.