Don’T Be A Passive Dad!

During the summer of 2018, one of my students inside old folsom state prison, lost his wife to leukemia on his birthday. This was a birthday i am sure he would prefer to forget. Together they share five children, one is a doctor, two are in college, and two are minors.

A short time after her death, my student got a “dear john/daddy” letter from his middle daughter. It was a painful letter for him to receive. She is missing her mom, feeling lost, and wants to have a dad she can talk to, a dad who can give her lots of hugs, and a dad who would console her during her time of grief.

His middle daughter was screaming out in emotional pain. Life coaching helped him understand that all or nothing thinking comes from a place of pain. She told him quite bluntly, i don’t really know you, i don’t really need you, so i don’t really want you in my life.

After he aligned himself (head, heart and gut) and started feeling, thinking, and processing as a caring loving father he was able to read between her lines. However, she took the time to write a five-page letter, shared her true feelings, and in doing so, she gave him a real emotional gift. He was in a significant amount of pain himself from losing his wife and stated “it did not feel like a gift.

I explained, he had been given an opportunity to behave like really good loving and caring dad. The first thing he wanted to do was ask her what she needed from him. Nope! i told him, it is not her job to tell you how to be in a healthy relationship with her.

It was his job, as the dad, to figure out how to be a healthy dad to her. Being a parent on any given day is hard work. It does not mean they get to shirk their parental responsibilities.

All children deserve a parent who strives to be the best parent they can be to their children. Anyone can be a loving, caring, and involved parent if they are willing to get out of their own way and rise up to the challenge.

Leave a Comment