If you are a Dad, then let me encourage you to subscribe to Todd Wilson's "FamilyMan Weekly" e-mail. He sends a brief, funny, and encouraging note to your inbox every week. (There's a link on the left-hand column of this INFO blog.) Here's one of his notes from a few weeks ago. Read it and then go subscribe so you can get your daily dose!
Hey Dad, I just got back from cleaning up a big glob of kid poop off the bathroom floor. (Didn’t your speech teacher tell you to start with an attention grabber?) My wife conveniently left for a meeting, leaving me with our two youngest. One slept; the other played, while I worked in my basement office. That’s when I got the call.
“I went poopy. I went poopy…” Isaac shouted. He was still new at the bathroom thing and occasionally had…uh…problems.
I raced upstairs muttering angrily to myself, “Oh, Isaac!” I didn’t like the tone of my voice, and I knew I had used it a lot lately. It was the tone that said, “Why’d you go and do that? You should know better…I’m disappointed in you.”
It’s during those times, when they’ve accidentally broken something, made a mess, or caused a big inconvenience, that they need my help and encouragement, but instead I offer disgust and disapproval.
Then, their eyes show fear and hurt…fear and hurt that I’ve caused.
Thankfully, I realized all of that as I ran up the stairs, and by the time I got to Ike, I was a changed man.
I stepped into the bathroom and was greeted by a fresh cow chip. Had I not needed to clean it up, I would have been impressed by the sheer size. He must have been storing up for a week.
Ike looked at me as if to say, “You’re mad at me, aren’t you?
“I’m not mad, Ike. It’s OK. I’ll get you all cleaned up. You’ve done great at learning how to go to the bathroom…and sometimes these things happen.”
You should have seen the change that came over his face. It was OK that he had failed. I was not going to yell, and he didn’t have to feel bad.
You know dad, your children need your acceptance, when they succeed AND when they fail. In fact, they need it even more then. They need you to hug them when they get a low grade on a report card, break one of your tools accidentally, announce that they have to go the bathroom right in the middle of something important…or leave a pile of poop on the floor.
So, surprise the socks off your kids the next time they fail (you shouldn’t have to wait too long), smile, and tell them it’s OK and that you love them more than anything.
You ‘da dad!