Life is not always a bed of roses. Disappointment, frustration, worry, injustice and stress can make our life miserable.
Sometimes as a result of our misery, our children suffer. They suffer because we are distracted and inattentive — we have more important things to think about than reading them a book or playing a game. Small irritations that used to roll off our backs now stick in our craw — and we react in anger. Our children can also suffer because we take out our frustration on their mother. What can fathers do to cope with hard times in ways that do not hurt children?
• Talk it out, don’t act it out. Problems, anger, and frustration remain large until we talk about them with someone who will listen to us. Set aside some time with your spouse or partner, a close friend, or your pastor to talk plainly about what is going on.
• Leave your problems at the door. This is hard, but our children deserve our very best. Think of ways to get yourself past the anger or frustration of a hard day. Some may need to “decompress” for a short period of time before seeing others. Engaging in some physical activity to “blow off steam” may also work.
• Keep your children front and center. It is easy to lose sight of our priorities when there is a crisis. Take some time for reflection and ask yourself: How are my actions affecting my children? What should I be doing to keep my children well?
The local fathering effort, in cooperation with the National Center for Fathering, provides bi-weekly action ideas to stimulate conversation between fathers and parents.
For more information, or to join local conversations, contact
Mick Trombley at firstname.lastname@example.org
David Eggebeen at email@example.com
Robert Orndorff at firstname.lastname@example.org
Marc McCann at 237-1719 or email@example.com