I missed the last two #BetterMe sessions with Coach Pia because I had other commitments. I really value The SoMoms’ time with her because our meetings always provide great insight for me and my relationships. This particular session was sponsored not only by The One Core, but also by Seda Hotel in BGC.
Of course, I value Nino’s contribution to our family as the father of my children…even if, I’m not so demonstrative about it. When I was dating, I remember my mother saying to me that the boy I end up marrying should love me more than I love him. As a young girl, I never understood the logic in that statement. It never made sense to me. Ideally, I wanted to find a love that was equal, that was both nurturing for me as it would be for my future husband. When I questioned my mother about this statement, her explanation to me was more than intriguing.
She shared that throughout your entire marriage, your husband will do things for you. He will do things for your children, and he will do things for your family. If he is a good man, and you chose well, then you will fall in love with him more and more as each day passes. With each act of love you will fall in love with him again. This is why…she said, that he needs to love you MORE than you love him…because as time passes…you will love him more too…
I never thought that made sense…UNTIL Nino and I were blessed with children. It was through his “Fatherhood,” that I learned even more about my husband…that (yes, Mom you were correct, yet again) I could fall in love with him over and over again…I just don’t know if it is necessary to marry a man who “loves you more.” I would like to think that maybe Nino has fallen in love with me over and over again, perhaps when he sees me with our children as well…
Our session (in conjunction with the recent passing of Father’s Day) provided me with some great take aways for me to appreciate Nino in a more concrete way…and also helped me realize that maybe sometimes I might expect a bit too much when I could be a little more understanding.
Prior to beginning the formal lecture of the topic at hand, Coach Pia pointed out some major differences in the way Moms and Dad do things. She asked us simple questions:
What do Dads want?
- Based on a survey of American parents, Dads would much rather receive a gift to open on Father’s Day. This means that they would enjoy opening up gifts of electronics, toys, techie gadgets, and even tools.
What do Moms want?
- In that same survey it was clear that Moms prefer a more experiential gift for Mother’s Day. This could even be a gift for the whole family to experience together, like spending quality time together or going out for a nice meal.
During this introduction, Coach Pia pointed out that the energy to produce funds is different than the energy to raise children. This little reminder helped me temper my expectations, because Nino is the primary bread winner for our family. Recognizing that the financial stability and security of our family is a huge load to carry helps me understand the time that Nino needs to unwind at the end of the day.
Coach Pia highlighted 10 key points for us and it was through our discussions as a group that we formulated our own ways to contribute and help our partners be better fathers as well.
1. Fathers powerfully teach through actions. Actions Speak Louder Than Words. I have always been a firm believer that children learn by what we do, and not necessarily by what we say. But this also lies in the fact that Moms rely heavily on their words…Dads just DO it.
2. They provide natural strength and stability. “Good Dad, Good Coping Skills for Children.” -Kathleen Doheny Just having Dad around is already a good thing. Quality time with dad also reinforces their understanding of right and wrong. (Plus Nino is really stronger than me…physically and it’s different to be hugged by someone who is really strong.)
3. Knowing about Dad’s experiences and hearing his stories are powerful as a child. This is important for young kids and big kids alike. Having an understanding of what it was like for your Dad growing up is vital for a child to make sense of many things in his life. A story comes to mind right now…Nino shared a story about his friend in high school who was under the influence of drugs and got into a car accident. His friend didn’t make it…but it drives the point home when we discuss getting mixed up in the wrong crowd and what that means to our children.
4. “Father’s Model Basic Values to their Children.” I think as a whole, men see the black and white…the right and the wrong…I imagine it like he draws the imaginary line in the sand…The kids also know that I take all things into consideration…that sometimes I let them slide based on a given situation, and yes-they also know that I believe in shades of grey which is probably why they try and debate more with me about certain things.
5. The Love Dad provides is priceless. The nurturance from Dad is unique. Yes. Exactly.
6. Dad’s presence provides specific self worth. Not having Dad around results in low self esteem. “If Dad is absent, he is bad. Then by genetics…because I’m part of him…I’m bad also.” This means that our children are directly connected to us…they identify who they are, based on who they think WE are…if they think their Dad (or their MOM) is bad…they, themselves, are bad because they come from him (or her). I have seen this in real life. I have had friends who questioned who they were based on some of the things that their parents did or are. This makes sense to me, but it may be hard to swallow.
7. Children learn the value of respect and service from Dad. “In raising boys, they learn to be a man through their interaction with a father figure.” -Alan Schwartz (psychologist) Sons need to spend one on one time with their Dads. This also makes sense to me…just like my daughters will learn what it is to be a woman through my example.
8. Dad’s celebrate victories. He builds up your child’s individuality. I am remembering a quote from a movie right about now. “There’s one thing every little kid knows. Daddies mean fun; mommies mean business.” -Diane from Honey I Blew Up the Kid. Diego has pointed this fact out to me and I have come to accept this as a fact…but it’s also important for me to have fun sometimes too. Kids need to hear their Moms laugh too…
9. Interaction with Dad has impact on future sexual activity, drinking problems, drug use, suicidal tendencies, emotional distress and uncooperative kids. (80% of child psychiatric patients came from fatherless homes.-Journal of Academy & Adolescent Psychiatry) This is huge. SO HUGE. But Nino and I knew this. While Gia was still a baby in my belly, we made a deal that he would spend time with her. Daddy and Gia time…Just the two of them. As our family grew, he realized that he needed to spend time with each of the boys as well. We have both found that when we take time for each of the kids (I date each of the kids as well.) we realize that there is less acting out, less misbehaving, and more understanding of one another…for the whole family.
10. Dads balance Moms out. Well, I have always said that Nino is my yang to my yin. But, in relation to this, I think we balance each other out…most especially in our parenting styles.
So-with all of these key points…how do we help the fathers of our children participate in parenting?
It’s actually pretty simple when you think about it. The following five points are ways we can help our husbands or partners be the best fathers they can be.
- Be deliberate about Co-Parenting. Work toward REAL teamwork.
- Focus on the well being of the child and not the emotional ties (of mom OR dad.) Speak to each other in private so you know what you are afraid of passing on.
- Give Dad a chance! Blaming is NOT an option. Let go of how things are done and focus on the big picture. (Trust your partner and try not to micro manage.)
- Include him ALWAYS…
- STAY POSITIVE. (Don’t mention his faults in front of kids.)
Seda Hotels are located in BGC, Cagayan De Oro, Davao, and Nuvali. Seda, made for the modern traveler, is the only hotel wholly-owned by AyalaLand. Because it is an urban lifestyle hotel, guests will find the amenities they need, but will be happy with convenience of location, service, and value for money. Seda BGC, which is the flagship of the group is made for the business travelers who are visiting the multinational companies near by. From paperless check-in, complimentary wifi, and touch screen tablets that can be used en route from the airport to the hotel, Seda offers guest uninterrupted connectivity for seamless service with Filipino hospitality.
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
The One Core offers life coaching sessions and courses on personal development. Coach Pia offers Free Learning Sessions every second Tuesday of the month in Fully Booked on High Street in BGC. If you have the time, I would seriously suggest attending the next session.
E.Abada cor R. Alvero Sts.