Fatherhood was celebrated at the birth of your child but not so much after your little boy or girl gets in the “tweens.” I have seen a tendency for fathers to coast or rest on their laurels. After the child is “latchkey” ready; able to get a bowl of cereal for themselves and get a house key, he or she is almost abandoned. This is often the reason for our angst as parents later. We set our children up to fail. We did not continue to parent as they got older.
Think about how much you know now, and what you didn’t quite realize, appreciate or know when you were their ages. It may have been a different time and the slower pace allowed us the luxury of catching up. Today, the speed of things and information available can alter the way your child thinks. Children today rarely get a chance to enjoy being children. They are forced to adapt to adult themes and problems. You are the buffer. You are the gate keeper. You are the father.
I submit to you to consider that there are forces that help create this and that situation is not your fault but still your responsibility. The child wants to be independent. Her peers seemingly are. They are able to do almost anything physically. The part that requires your attention is more important than potty training was. There is now a battle for the mind and soul of your child. How your child will develop still depends on you.
Fathers must stay plugged in order to maintain love, trust and compassion. You can’t lead by proxy. Saying
“because I said so”
is weak and means you failed. Fathers are responsible for imparting wisdom and knowledge to their children in addition to security. Your son should not make the same mistakes you made. Your daughter should be able to discern the difference of opinions she hears because she has a foundation you set long ago. Peer pressure has less a hold on your child when you have inoculated them against it.
As an “old father” your methods may have to change. You might have to learn jargon, slang, video games, and bubblegum pop culture in order to stay ahead of your child. HBO shouldn’t raise your children. Do you realize how open and wild PS4 is? Your child can be and will be talking to adults from all over the world. The language of video gaining is raw and uncensored. Leaving your son to play a video game for hours can be the same as letting him watch porn on the family TV.
The internet is the wild wild west. I love it but you have parent. Your baby will see and hear things that go against your rules faster and more often than you can imagine. You need to be ahead of that thing and have that conversation and discussion early.
Am I making any sense to you?
Stay in the game.