Why does it seem so hard sometimes to have peace in the house? I have struggled many times over this. We pray every day, try to organise the day and set the course — that is, we the parents.
As a father, the head of the household, I should be steering the ship on the course I think we are going — why do we hit so many rocks?
We used to have regular family meetings which do work, but with teenagers acquiring driving licenses, managing timeframes becomes difficult and seasons change.
What is a Captain of the Ship to do?
- Pray — Yes (never stop)
- Plan — Yes (always)
- Consult the crew — Yes (forgot)
That’s it — ask the children!
A family speaks of unity — that is everybody going in the same direction with the same objective. There is also ‘wisdom in the counsel of many’.
Many times, fathers tend to take the steering wheel and not let go.
In such perilous times, it would seem that the need is even more so to tighten the reins.
But my family are people, and they can each contribute greatly to the direction in which we are heading.
With everything that goes on in today’s busy lifestyles, I have had to be more aware of having quality time with the children — it might be a quick trip to the shops — but a one-on-one conversation is great, and the feedback is often amazing.
Fathers need to prepare for these opportunities and know what to ask and be sensitive to where the child/teenager is at.
Children are VERY perceptive — they can be such a great sounding board for fathers, they can see things we fathers can’t; they have such a refreshing perspective on things especially when we fathers are super-serious. They can also be an enormous help in our marriage.
My eldest daughter once clearly noticed in a period of expressed anguish by me, that I was ‘dumping’ on my wife on occasions. I didn’t think I was, but from her perspective, and as a woman, it appeared to be the case — she was absolutely right, my eyes were opened, and I promptly apologised.
As fathers, we do not have to row the boat alone. We can share the responsibilities with our family, if we will only do so.
I want to do more for my family — I want to maintain relationships — I want to be a better father and husband.
Ask the children — they are our inheritance — they are our future.
Photo by Sergey Makashin.