Fairy Dad Father

Every time my teenage kids make me roll my eyes in despair I think about my wonderful dad and all the times I made him roll his eyes and scratch his head. His dad’s logic just could not comprehend the power of teenage imagination…

Like that time when me and one of my University friend spent all the money we had to go to the local Ballet Theatre to watch ‘Swan Lake’. Next day dad visited me and took me to the fridge.

“So, what are you going to eat for the rest of the month, darling? Feathers of those imaginary swans?” he said staring into the empty fridge.

His engineering logic just could not comprehend how his only precious one could spend the whole monthly pay from Uni on ‘Swan Lake’. I just giggled and reassured him that he had absolutely nothing to worry about. After all I did not spend it on boys and vodka….

At that point not only his eyes rolled, but his jaw dropped too… He never ever mentioned the empty fridge again… In fact magically that fridge has never ever been empty again… Coincidentally a magic fairy took care of it since that day, regularly filling it up with all the essentials…

My friend’s dad, who was a doctor, tried to approach the same subject from the medical perspective first, hinting on a very poor nutritional value of the imaginary swans and feathers. My friend just giggled. In despair, her dad changed to the historical perspective: “Now I see why in so many cultures fathers were supposed to provide dowry for their daughters at the marriage. Otherwise one would need to be utterly insane to take my precious darling with all these imaginary swans and feathers!”

His historical perspective only tripled the giggles. “Don’t worry dad. I already found my utterly insane one,” my friend burst into laughter.

Next day we met with other friends at Uni and had a good giggle about swans, feathers and all. After all, behind every smiling girl at Uni was a wonderful Fairy Dad Father rolling his eyes and scratching his head…

Credits:

Dad’s love and intuition

Father

My father never told me… he was not a talkative man… but the way he looked at me, the way he treated me made me feel that way. I never stop admiring how my dad seemed to always intuitively know what was the best for me, without reading any fancy parenting books or having any teaching degrees. I never stopped feeling his silent love.

At the time when men were rarely actively involved in parenting, my dad was always there for me, taking me for long walks, bathing me, putting me to sleep, calming all my fears… And I was a very fearful child scared of everything imaginable: darkness, heights, being alone, fights and arguments, snakes, worms, caterpillars, mice and rats to name a few…

Protection

Dad always asked the right questions, listened without making any assumptions or twisting the meaning of what he heard. Even when he disagreed, he rarely argued – he always found another way… Like the time when I saw him chopping the wood and then picked up his axe. “Don’t touch my axe”, he said. “Why? If you can chop the wood, why can’t I?” “Because you are not much bigger than that axe and I don’t want you to chop your head off”, he patiently explained. “Don’t worry,” I laughed. “My head is probably the only part of my body that I’ll never be able to chop off.” He did not argue, but made sure no axe was ever left within my reach…

Eye

Dad never used gender stereotypes. He never told me that I am a girl and therefore should behave or do things in a certain way. He just accepted me the way I was, without trying to mould me into anything else. It felt like a breath of fresh air, a welcome break from my mum’s and grandma’s constant nagging: “You are a girl, so you should be dressed like this, you should talk like that, you should do this and don’t do that….” I could never quite comprehend where my mum and grandma got all those dos and don’ts, which somehow I always managed to get wrong…

Girl

While my dad rarely expressed himself in words, he had other ways of getting his point across. His communication toolbox included not only admiring looks, but also silent staring, rolling eyes, raised eyebrows, all sorts of winks and a million of other facial expressions. I’m sure, there were some pulled hair too every now and then…

Staring

While parenting my own children, I met a lot of truly amazing dads and learnt lots more from them than from any parenting books or my teaching degrees. I never stopped admiring their creativity, ability to make any activity fun, patience, intuition and perfectly balanced approach to setting boundaries to provide maximum opportunities for challenges and freedom while keeping all risks under control.

Father and daughter

It never stops puzzling me however that so many dads rarely recognise their amazing parenting abilities and intuition and are often quick to retreat and silence their views on parenting. Something that Celia Lashlie also noted in her book “He’ll be OK”.

Do not doubt your parenting skills. Follow your heart, trust your intuition and have fun.

Children do change us and our lives in lots of ways. Enjoy this special period in your life, treasure all the wonderful moments you are having with your children and stop pulling out your hair over not-so-wonderful ones….

Credits:

Fathers in today’s modern families can be so many things…

“Fathers in today’s modern families can be so many things.”

Oliver Hudson

From http://www.wrightsmedia.com

“My friends Katie and Scott… are both Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who work full-time. About a year ago, Scott travelled to the East Coast for work. He was starting a late-morning meeting when his phone rang. His team only heard one side of the conversation.

“A sandwich, carrot sticks, a cut-up apple, pretzels, and a cookie,” Scott said. He hung up smiling and explained that his wife was asking what she should put in the kids’ lunch boxes. Everyone laughed. …

There’s an epilogue to their story. Scott went on a trip and discovered that Katie forgot to make the kids’ lunches altogether. She realized her slipup midmorning and solved the problem by having a pizza delivered to the school cafeteria. Their kids were thrilled, but Scott was not. Now when he travels, he packs lunches in advance and leaves notes with specific instructions for his wife…”

From ‘Lean in’ by Sheryl Sandberg

lunchbox-dad-1From Lunchbox dad

“The may be an evolutionary basis for one parent knowing better what to put in a child’s lunch. Women who breast-feed are arguable baby’s first lunch box. But even if mothers are more naturally inclined toward nurturing, fathers can match that skill with knowledge and effort…

We overcome biology with consciousness in other areas. For example, storing large amounts of fat was necessary to survive when food was scarce, so we evolved to crave it and consume it when it’s available. But in this era of plenty, we no longer need large amounts of fuel in reserve, so instead of simply giving in to this inclination, we exercise and limit caloric intake.

We use willpower to combat biology, or at least we try. So even if ‘mother knows best’ is rooted in biology, it need not be written in stone. A willing mother and a willing father are all it requires… As women must be more empowered at work, men must be more empowered at home.”

From ‘Lean in’ by Sheryl Sandberg

lunchbox-dad-4
From Lunchbox dad

Lunchbox Dad
From http://www.lunchboxdad.com/

Let’s appreciate such truly amazing dads!

🙂

THE END

Happy Father’s Day to all Wonderful Men :-)


 From http://rebro-a-dama.livejournal.com

Fathers are wonderful people
Too little understood,
And we do not sing their praises
As often as we should…

For, somehow, Father seems to be
The man who pays the bills,
While Mother binds up little hurts
And nurses all our ills…

And Father struggles daily
To live up to “HIS IMAGE”
As protector and provider
And “hero or the scrimmage”…

And perhaps that is the reason
We sometimes get the notion,
That Fathers are not subject
To the thing we call emotion,

But if you look inside Dad’s heart,
Where no one else can see
You’ll find he’s sentimental
And as “soft” as he can be…

But he’s so busy every day
In the grueling race of life,
He leaves the sentimental stuff
To his partner and his wife…

But Fathers are just WONDERFUL
In a million different ways,
And they merit loving compliments
And accolade of praise.

From www.fathersdaycelebration.com

Have a wonderful Father’s Day!

Hope your children will appreciate and treasure you every day, not just on Father’s Day.

Related posts:

THE END

Friday Giggle

“Fathers in today’s modern families can be so many things.”
Oliver Hudson

Silent Love…

Silent love…. That feels so much like my dad…

My dad was not mute  – he simply hardly ever talked. I mean, hardly ever talked about things that really mattered. May be, it was only with me. Probably, it was only because of my gender. No, he did not mind my gender. I suspect he simply did not know how to talk to me, because I was of a different gender. All the gender-based stereotypes did not make it easier for him either.

He probably thought (or was told) that women knew better how to bring up daughters, that women knew better what makes girls happy – after all, they are the same gender, they are from the same planet Venus. I wondered about that sometimes. We seemed to be from very different planets with my mum. In fact, at times it felt like we were from completely different galaxies.

Mother and teenage daughterFrom http://www.sheknows.com/

Interestingly enough, it seemed to be obvious to everyone else that I was a true daddy’s daughter from the moment I was born into this world. I looked like him, I saw the world like him, I was quiet like him. Even my hot temper and tendency to over-react or get over-agitated over minor things, I bet,  came from him, as well as my rebellious free-thinking mind.

I also never behaved like a ‘typical’ girl. Things that mattered to other girls, like pretty dolls and fancy dresses, were hardly ever touched in my room. Shopping, cooking and girlish chats never interested me either.

In fact, all females in my family were puzzled and not sure what to do with me. My nanna’s announcement on my 30th birthday expressed that frustration so well: “Eureka. Finally I got it – you are simply not a girl. We thought you’ll eventually turn into one once you settle with family and children. Alas, it only made you worse…”

I could not stop laughing: it took 30 years for the nurture to finally give up on changing my nature…

Girl

Though my dad hardly ever talked, I could always feel a very strong invisible bond between us. Looking back I can clearly see now how much he was trying to do for me, quietly, silently, behind the scene, like a true guardian angel. I can clearly see now, how much he influenced me as a person,  shaping my nature without forcing me into a stereotypical mould. I can clearly see now how he was trying to give me choices in life – choices to ensure I’ll be happy. I can clearly feel his silent love…

From http://www.dailywaffle.co.uk

THE END

Raising Teen Daughters: Empathy vs Sympathy

adult beautiful bedroom cute

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Can we ever understand teenage girls if even such experienced psychologist Nigel Latta openly admitted in his Politically Incorrect Guide to Teenagers, that he “didn’t understand the physics of the Girl-niverse”? “If a boy goes off the rail,” continues Latta, “he generally drinks alcohol, takes some drugs, gets into some petty crime and hits a few people. When girls go off the rails, they have a capacity to create degrees of chaos that are hard to believe. When girls go off the rails, the earth shifts on its axis”.

From http://lifetoheryears.com/50rules

So how can fathers help their daughters to go through that complicated stage in life? How can fathers understand their teenage daughters, those beautiful fairy princesses who suddenly turn into demonic uncontrollable monsters?

A few days ago I came across a story that touched my heart: a story of a father, who not only made an effort to understand his teenage daughter, but possibly rescued his troubled daughter from years of despair and near suicide. This story is provided below.

converse all star fashion foot girl

Photo by SplitShire on Pexels.com

“I know of a couple with three grown children. This is a good family… The father did a good deal of traveling for his work while his daughter and two boys were growing up His relationship with them was sound and safe, but he just wasn’t around very much. Everything was fine until his teenage daughter started having behavioral problems at school and then with the law.

Each time she got in trouble, her anxious, time-conscious father would sit down with her and try to talk through the problem. They would go around on the same issues every time: “I’m too fat, I’m too ugly.” “No, you are not, you’re beautiful to me.” “You have to say that, you’re my dad.” “I wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t true.” “Yes, you would” “Do you think I’d lie to you?” And the discussion would turn to the question of the father’s honesty. Or he would tell her a story from his own youth, like the one about how he grew up with skinny arms and shoulders and everyone made fun of him. “Is that supposed to make me feel better?” she would say.

adult alone anxious black and white

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

Things would calm down, he’d leave town, and the cycle would start again. He was on a trip when his wife rang him to say their daughter had disappeared. Frantically, he caught a plane home and the family fretted for days while the search went on. At last she turned up in a runaway shelter in another city, and the parents collected her.

That night he and his wife talked things through. “I do not know what to do about her,” he confessed. His wife replied, “You might try listening to her.” “What do you mean? I listen to her constantly.”

His wife gave him a half smile. “Go and listen to her. Don’t talk. Don’t talk. Just listen.”

mate preferenceFrom http://www.huffingtonpost.com

He sat down with his daughter, who was still silent, and asked her, “Would you like to talk?” She shook her head, but he stayed where he was, silent as well. It was getting dark before she finally spoke. “I just don’t want to live anymore.”

Alarmed, he fought the urge to protest this and said softly, “You don’t want to live anymore.” This was followed by about five minutes of silence – the longest five minutes in his life, he later said.

“I’m just not happy, Dad. I don’t like anything about myself. I want it to be over.”

“You’re not happy at all,” he breathed.

The girl began to cry. In fact, she began to sob intensely, trying to talk at the same time, words flowing like a flood. It was as if a dam had burst. She talked into the early morning hours, he said hardly ten words, and the next day things looked hopeful. Where before he was giving her only sympathy, at last he had discovered empathy.

This was only the first “psychological airing” of many over the next few hard adolescent years, but the young girl is now a woman, calm and confident in herself and her father’s love for her. That he would seek her out, that he would value the outpourings of her heart instead of imposing his version of reality on her, helped give her a robust foundation for life.”

From http://www.sheknows.com

When tensions are high and confidence is low, when the next step doesn’t look clear at all, when a wall has gone up, try an experiment with empathy.

  • Go to the other side and say, “You see things differently. I need to listen to you.”
  • Give full attention. Don’t multitask while you’re listening. Don’t judge, evaluate, analyse, advise, toss in your footnotes, critique, or quarrel.
  • Be quiet. You don’t have to provide an answer, a verdict, a solution, or a “fix”. Free yourself from all that pressure. Just sit back and listen.
  • Speak only to keep the flow going. Say things like “Tell me more,” or “ Go on.”
  • Pay close attention to emotions. Affirm feelings.
  • Remember, you are listening to a story. When you go to a movie, you don’t interrupt and argue with the story and talk back to the screen. You’re involved, your sense of reality is suspended, you’re almost is a trance.
  • Be ready to learn. If you’re open, you’ll gain insights that will lighten up your own mind and complement your own perspective.
  • Show some gratitude. It’s a great compliment to be invited into the mind and heart of another human being…”

From “The 3rd alternative” by Stephen R Covey

Related posts:

THE END

Dear Daddy

Daddy2
From Daddy’s Love Shoots

I love you round the world,
And back again,
All over the stormy sea.
I love you lots and jelly tots,
I hope that you love me.
I love you up,
I love you down,
I love your smile,
I love your frown,
I’ll love you ’till the end of time,
Oh Daddy I’m so glad you’re mine.

By Pooky H

Daddy
From Daddy’s Hands

My dad turned 65 a few months ago. Never thought I’d miss him so much after living for 15 years on the other side of the world. He was not perfect, but looking back I do feel glad that he was my dad.

He never read fancy parenting books or followed any fancy parenting theories. He never talked much or explained what he felt or thought – he was a doer, not a talker. He simply was always there for me. He always accepted me and adored me the way I was without imposing any other ‘way’ on me. He always cared about me and made me feel that I mattered.

I wish we lived a bit closer to each other, so that he could simply be here for my children just the way he was there for me…

Grandfather

Grandfather

THE END

Raising Teen Daughters: Tips for Fathers

Father

From No Longer Superhero

At a time when girls are under unprecedented assault from our increasingly sexualised culture, there’s at least one very welcome change – we’re finally waking up to the vital importance of dads.

According to Steve Biddulph, today’s fathers spend three times as long with their children each day – talking, playing and teaching them – as the fathers of just one generation ago. Girls with an involved dad have been found in many studies to do better at school and have higher self-esteem. They’re also less likely to become pregnant too young or have problems with alcohol or drugs. For a girl, Dad is her personal ambassador from the Planet Male. If she has a good relationship with him, she’s unlikely to settle for less from the other males in her life, or allow herself to be manipulated.

Too many fathers however still fail their daughters, whether because they were confused about their role, or just too busy, or – worst of all – not sufficiently interested. There’s no escaping the fact, that even terrific father-daughter relationships can come under stress when girls reach 13 or 14 and start developing into young women…

These days, fathers are far more aware than they used to be of the dangers of sexual abuse. This has led to a new problem that probably affects most dads: they start backing off from their teenage daughter and neglect to give her hugs. Some fathers will even stop spending as much time with their daughter, or become irrationally angry with her.

This sends out a confusing, hurtful signal: ‘He doesn’t like me any more; he’s weird and uptight around me. Some girls react by thinking they’re at fault themselves; others try to turn themselves back into little girls again by acting cute and helpless rather than increasingly adult and confident.

Even if a father copes well with his daughter’s changing appearance, he can find that without meaning to, he’s frequently pressing all the wrong buttons and making her fly off the handle.

That’s because, somewhere around the age of 13, a girl seems to become mentally unstuck. We shouldn’t really blame her.

At this age and stage of development, her body is trying rapidly to rewire her pre-frontal cortex – the most complex part of the brain, which controls both her ability to calm herself down and to pay attention.

Meanwhile, the part of her brain called the amygdala – the centre of impulsive and emotional reactions – can take over in a flash if she’s feeling pressured, distracted or stressed.

One minute, she can be kind and caring; the next, she can be thoughtless and self-obsessed. She may make promises but forget to keep them.

She can lose all perspective, become wildly over-emotional and cave in to undesirable peer pressure. This is normal – but most fathers find this stage very trying….

First: remember that your daughter loves you and would miss you for ever if you died. Second: bear in mind that she can often find you very irritating. That’s because you tend to criticise and find fault with her, and you do it at the worst times…

The truth is that she’s searching for her own identity, and acutely sensitive at this time to any of your attempts to control her. So when you lose it, she double-loses it, and everything goes haywire.

Daughters have to be treated gently. Accept that sometimes she’s unhappy with you. Ask her what you’ve done wrong but don’t try to defend yourself when she tells you – that’s a male reflex, and it doesn’t work with girls.

Instead, see if you can work out what emotion lies behind what she’s saying. Is she sad (i.e. because you’re going away again), angry (you didn’t keep your word) or afraid (you drive too fast)? Then, even if you’ve been a faultless father thus far, try doing something radical: admit that you could actually change a little to accommodate her. If you can make changes to your behaviour, or do something that she’s asked you to do, it will make her feel less powerless and help her to realise that her feelings count.

The biggest mistake men tend to make when fighting with their teenage daughters is to use ‘you’ accusations. ‘You don’t help around the house.’ ‘You’re lazy.’ ‘You’re not going out in that dress!’

‘I’ messages work far better because they take heat out of a situation by exposing our vulnerability.

For example: ‘I was worried when you didn’t get home at the time you agreed. I need to know I can trust you.’

This is not an attack, because it starts with ‘I’ and not ‘you’. It invites a teenager to be caring, rather than to defend herself.

Even: ‘I’m angry because the kitchen was a mess, and I had just tidied it up’ is better than: ‘You messed up the kitchen!’

Note that I’m not suggesting for a moment that you let your daughter get away with slovenly, dangerous or disrespectful behaviour.

Fathers who are cash-rich but time-poor often buy expensive gifts and hand out wads of money; they may also arrange for others to do all the household chores. The end result is a grown-up girl with an emotional age of two who thinks nothing of having tantrums if they help her get what she wants. Such terminal self-obsession, is a dreadful fate for any girl because one day she’ll eventually collide painfully with reality.

The best cure is to begin imposing boundaries – softly but firmly – and to demand that she starts pulling her weight.

Finally, the father of a teenage girl must bear in mind that he’s a male role model – at least to her. That means dressing well, smelling good and refraining from telling rude jokes in front of her.

Adolescent girls have acute sensibilities: even if they swear and tell gritty jokes themselves, they don’t like to see their fathers behaving in a similar way. They’re also hyper-alert to the way you behave with other females.

So treat all women with courtesy and kindness, and you’ll help her set the bar high for the boys and men in her own life. Modern womanhood is tough: all too soon, your daughter will need to become self-reliant, clear-thinking, emotionally strong, good with people and responsible for her own life. A good dad gives her a head-start that lasts for ever.

Adapted from: Raising Girls, by Steve Biddulph

Daddy
From MotivationalTwist.com

THE END