Dads Day: Time to start being a hero
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Be a Hero by Mary Jane Popp
Do your kids look up to you as their hero, or do they admire a baseball player instead?
How would you like to put that same sparkle in their eyes that those sports figures do?
Thomas Gagliano wants you to have that love and admiration Father’s Day and everyday.
Life Mentor, Speaker, and author, he has seven tips to achieve your hero status on this Father’s Day in “The Problem Was Me.” So let’s hit a home run!
1) Listen: Provide a safe environment for your children where they can cry on your shoulder or just talk to you…even if they tell you something you don’t want to hear.
2) Permit Mistakes: Give your children the message that they can make mistakes. Let them know that mistakes are part of being human. Affirm they can fall at times without becoming a failure.
3) Celebrate Victories: Celebrate achievements by taking your child for an ice cream or a pizza slice. Don’t run immediately to the next dilemma. Take time to enjoy what’s been accomplished.
4) Monitor Your Inner Critic: If we grew up with an inner critic telling us all the things we’re doing wrong in life, chances are high we will give this inner critic to our children.
5) Choose Your Battles: There are times when we need to relinquish our need to be right in our conversations with our children, and choose closeness instead. We can choose to be close byidentifying with our children’s struggles and listening to their feelings.
6) Be Curious: Be interested in your children’s lives. Ask them how they are doing and what’s new with them. By being curious, you give them the message they are important and you’re thinking of them.
7) Confer Regularly With Your Inner Child: When our children struggle, stop and think about what you wanted to hear from your father at that age. Let that compassion shape what you say and how you say it.
The good news that, as fathers, we received distorted messages in our own childhoods. But we can give our children the healthy messages denied to us. Tom’s father gave him the message that if he made enough money, all his problems would disappear.
Yet, in adulthood, he never understood why he felt so sad when he witnessed a dad playing with his son, and why this created such sadness within him as an adult. He was grieving a childhood he never had, and he didn’t want his children to be deprived of the childhood they deserved.
As an adult, he learned to give his kids what his own father hadn’t been able to give to him…their hero. He supplied guidance to his children when they needed it, but he also gave them a shoulder to cry on and an ear to hear their feelings and thoughts as well.
Heroes can cry too, even if society tells them real men don’t cry. Heroes let their children explore who they want to be, instead of imprisoning them in predefined roles…roles that we as parents want them to play.
The feats of the heroes he describes won’t make the front page of the newspaper. But what love can equal the love and admiration seen reflected in the eyes of your own child?
Thomas Gagliano sees that love and admiration in the eyes of his own children. Wouldn’t you like to see the same thing?
His book is called “The Problem Was Me.”
Have a wonderful Father’s Day!
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