Friday, June 14, 2013

The Father As A Life Coach

Father's Day and Mother's Day seem similar. But they are as different as the roles that both mothers and fathers play in lives of their children. Sure we celebrate Father's Day, but we all know that when it comes to the caretaking of children, women (in the vast majority of cases) do the heavy lifting. It's a tough job for which they are better suited and equipped.
Father's Day (created in 1910), is essentially a complement to Mother's Day (created in 1908), just as father's are essentially a complement to mothers. Yes, we play a vital role as book ends to the family structure, but children bond naturally with their mothers. Unconditional love - or at least the feelings of unconditional love - take place between the mother and child.
What role does that leave for fathers? The role of life coach.
The coaching role is delicately intertwined with the parenting role. The key is to know when to transition from one role to the other. Men can fully relate to this concept because most men can appreciate sports coaches and the influence that they have on a player's development, performance, and success.
The father as a life coach has the same role and responsibility.
Before becoming a biological father, I was a stepdad - but a dad nonetheless. I took the role of parenting very seriously. Stepparents tend to overcompensate. In that scenario it's tough to transition from one role to the next because stepparents yearn for the closeness that biological parenting brings. Ultimately, the reality emerges that you are a stepparent and there will inevitably be some tricky terrain that needs to be navigated.

It all pans out if you step back, and transition to the role of life coach.
I believe (as stated in a previous posting) that being a father is a matter of biology, and being a dad is a matter of choice. Choosing to be a life coach at the right time with your child - biological or otherwise - can safeguard, sustain, and deepen the relationship.
Have a Happy Dad's Day!

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