I struggle with the writing process. My mind works in the form of bullet points as opposed to long-form which is what prohibits me from saying what I want to say. But I feel I have ideas of value to share. (My English teachers always told me never to start a sentence with a preposition like “but”, but she’s not grading me.) So here is the first in what will be series of ideas that might help you.
My first 60 second thought. In preparation of a talk i will be giving to a group of dads, this came to me – Don’t Be A Dick. I’m speaking as a dad to the dads regarding of how we interact with our kids. I see it all the time. Dads yelling at their kids on the soccer field. Dads making them feel shameful for not meeting our expectations. Dads saying “I told you so”. I’ve done it. You’ve done it. Almost every dad on the face of the earth has done it. Why? I can give you plenty of reasons like unresolved issues from our childhood, lack of presence, wanting our kids to act like a robot and do everything we say because we know what is best for them, and on and on…. But I don’t really care why.
Instead I invite you to ask yourself- Would you talk to your co-worker that way? Would you talk to your spouse that way? Would you talk to a stranger at the grocery store that way? Then why are you talking to this person that you helped bring into this world that way? This is the person that will decide if he/she is coming home for Thanksgiving dinner when they’re 25. This is the person that will be in charge of how much time you get with your grandkids. This is the person that will decide if they put you in the good nursing home or the cheap one? These are all selfish reasons why you should stop being a dick. If those don’t convince you- do it for the best reason at all. Because you love this person. And you would do anything for this person. Next time you feel like being a dick- break out a baby picture of your son/daughter and look at it and don’t stop looking at it until your need to being a dick yields. I’d rather you be a dick to me waiting in line at Target than yelling at your son or daughter. I can handle it- I’m not sure if your child can. So to all of us dads out there- Don’t be a dick.
Todd Adams is a coach and advocate for men supporting them in embracing healthy masculinity and conscious relationships. For six years he’s co-hosted Zen Parenting Radio, a top-ten kids and family podcast on iTunes, and he co-founded The Tribe Men’s Group where he leads monthly meetings and offers annual adventure retreats. Todd is a member of The Mankind Project, a staff member for the New Warrior Training Adventure, and he’s a blogger for The Good Men Project. He’s a Certified Life Coach through the Tony Robbins Core 100 Life Coaching Program, and a certified instructor for the Institute of Heartmath where he was trained in stress reduction and relaxation. He’s also a featured expert on the on-line parenting resource The Kids In The House. Todd is a sales rep for JVI Inc., a real estate investor in Chicagoland, and he and Cathy are the parents of three daughters ages 8, 11, & 13.