Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fathers Day & Birth Days

I like Fathers Day because I get good cards & messages from my kids and because I get to go out to eat. As a long-time advocate for fathers & stepfathers,  I also like that folks spend at least a few moments thinking about involved fatherhood and its meaning.

No single experience transformed me as a human being more than the experience of being a father to my children. Taking the chancewedding family to be an at-home dad for some of their childhood, I felt the immediacy of that visceral, spiritual connection between father and child—a connection that continues 30 years later.

My kids are grown now, but that fact hasn’t changed some things. They are still important to me, and vice versa—although in different and continually evolving ways. I’ve also been blessed over the years to hear stories from thousands of fathers and kids, as a teacher and advocate for engaged fathering and stepfathering.

Joe Nia-26All of those stories and experiences renforce my measure of “engagement” for fathers: as a Dad, am I committing  the same level of intensity as I did the day my child was born? The day of wonder and mystery and legacy when I first held my child in my hands?

So, there’s a Fathers Day wish: may every day as a dad bring you as much experience as possible of the intensity and wonder and commitment of fathering.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Father's Day Fill In the Blanks

This Fathers Day, take a step beyond honoring dad with a card or gift. Set aside a few moments to learn something more about your own father, stepfather, father-in-law...and learn about yourself as a father. Fill in the blanks in the 10 statements below and then share them with your dad--and your kids.

If your father or stepfather is gone, show you answers to your spouse, partner, siblings, and/or other loved ones. (Thanks to Gary Burns & his daughters, creators of The Communications Game, for help with this list)

What I admire most about my father is ____. I say that because ____.

I really want my father to know ______. I say that because ______.

The time I felt most loved in my life was when ______. I say that because ______.

I wish my father and I had more time or ability to ___________ together. I say that because ______.

My greatest joy in life today is _______. I say that because ______. What is your greatest joy, Dad?

My greatest satisfaction in life today is _______. I say that because ______. What is your greatest satisfaction, Dad?

What I value most in a friend is _______. I say that because ______.

For me, loyalty means _________. I say that because ________.

Of all the people who died before I was born, I would most like to visit with ______. I say that because ________.

The thing I will remember most about my father is _________. I say that because ________.