The Dad Difference: New reasearch shows how Dads are different from Moms
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Every Dad wants the best for his children, but you may not realize how much you are bringing to your children’s lives right now. You are your child's first initiation experience, first threshold to that which is beyond grasp. Your relationship is charged with a dynamic love that spans your separateness. This is the primal I-Thou pattern, the universal pattern of the father-child relationship, which establishes a framework where idealism can grow. Your personality then gives depth and specifics to this framework.

You inspire and intrigue your child because you are the first loved person distinguished from the blended state with mother. By being separate from your child yet loved, you represent transcendence. Transcendence literally means "to climb over or beyond." Your presence challenges and inspires value development as your child reaches beyond him or herself to grow, testing values, thereby developing character.

When you think of values and child-rearing, you might remember the religious concepts that you absorbed from your own upbringing. But whether your values align with an institutional religion or any other belief system including a scientific one, your child will look to you for guidance, for your loyalties, for your most important priorities. This notion of value is different from conscience or morality. When you start a sentence with, "I think" or "I believe" and both your mind and your heart are in those words then you are making a value statement.

Here is the good news: you don't have to have all the answers, you just have to be a positive presence. The most important thing that you can do is to allow your child's aspirations. Let your children express their dreams and ideals even if you feel the urge to protect them from "getting their hopes up." When your child looks at you with adoring eyes as if you were God, don't panic! By talking to you about significant things, they are flexing their values muscle and it is important to let them do so.