I am glad my step-dad never tried to be a father to me, so we didn’t have to get into any power struggles. He became an adult friend and mentor. He was generous with his time. He listened a lot, and gave love freely,” shares Dave from the group. In this group, divorced or separating parents learn communication and parenting strategies.
Sometimes a parent’s ‘the-arts-just-aren’t-necessary’ attitude can tragically squelch a young person’s creative aspirations, and a parent who is too gung-ho about a child’s talents may not realize that hijacking dreams robs a child of healthy feelings of ownership and independence. Fortunately, many parents find the balanced middle. They figure out how to quietly stand behind a young person’s aspirations without taking over, and they find ways to supportively usher their child toward creating a colorful future for themselves.
There are a lot of clichés about fathers. Commercials often portray us as the ‘bumbling parent’ who gets lost trying to change a diaper and instantly panics as soon as mom isn’t around. We’re routinely characterized as the rock in the family that never cries, the parent who tells our son to always be tough and never show their emotions, and threatens our daughter’s dates at the front door with a shotgun or pitch fork. We’re supposed to go to work and be the breadwinner, drink beer, and enjoy spending our time on the couch watching sports more than spending time with our kids.
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