Well, it’s New Year’s Resolution time again, and, if you’re like me, time for a list of things that you have a firm commitment to accomplishing on January 1, but we know how that goes. This blog today is for us guys who have made that New Year’s pledge in the past to lose weight or make sure that honey do list gets done, but just doesn’t quite get there.
We dads love our children, want the best for them, would do anything for them. There’s no doubt about that. Yet we don’t always know how to communicate that love through connection. That’s not always our fault. Because of our own histories growing up, difficulties we had in terms of connection with our own parents, we just don’t have the tools in our tool box to securely connect with our children. This New Year, I would like to suggest that your first resolution be to do the work required to establish a firm and secure connected relationship with your spouse and children.
This is going to necessitate a commitment like you have never faced before. My own attachment style was one that was very dismissive in nature, due in large part to my distant relationship to my single-parent mother in my youth. This attachment style carried over into my adulthood and thus, into my marriage. I was really never emotionally present for my wife or children, but really could not understand why. Through the Trust Based Relational Intervention® parenting model of the Institute of Child Development at Texas Christian University, I learned that I could become securely attached in my relationships. It took a lot of hard, emotional work on my part, peeling back the onion of my emotional core to get to the pain of my past, confronting and owning it, and making sense of my history so that I could go on with my life in a healthy way.
Dads, God has called every one of us to be spiritual leaders, molding and guiding our children in the knowledge of the Lord. We can only do that if we have a secure, connected relationship with them. This New Year, I ask that you do this hard work of connection if your relationship with your family is lacking. It won’t be easy mind you, but it is the best investment you could ever make. There are Christian counselors out there who are skilled in attachment theory who can help you down this path. It is the best investment that you can ever make in your family’s health, and it is a resolution that you CAN keep! Isn’t your family worth that investment?
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger,
but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
By Alan Jones
Husband of Debra
Dad of one biological daughter, one adopted son
1 Corinthians 13 Team Member
Parenting Adoptees Can Trust