“You have to be like Superman to your kids. They need to think you can do anything. You always need to come across as capable and in control.”
Man to man, Dad to dad, this was the wisdom my Uncle to passed on to me a few years ago.
I look at Dadding a little differently. I do like being capable and in control (of myself especially) but I also think there is a gigantic strength in being exactly who you are. Holding up an artifice is tiring, even for a Superdad. Facades run the risk of breaking down and leaving confusion in their wake. Can you remember the time when you found out your parents were human?
Being authentic is what actually frees you. Your truth is where you actually find strength. When we are real, when we are honest, we are strong.
Authentic is the new strong. Truth is your new super power. If you aren’t feeling confident, that’s okay. If you need help, ask for it. If you are scared of something, say so. You can seek help and show your kids what that looks like. Not only will it free you from unrealistic expectations, you’ll provide your children with a real man, and a real model to learn from.
An added benefit of showing a little vulnerability, and letting your kids know you are human is that they will do the same with you when they need help. Ever wonder why children clam up and stop talking and wanting to be close to parents…well what is the example being set for them?
Of course we need to engage in age appropriate and otherwise appropriate conversations with our children. But you’d be surprised what can be talked about if you are able to find the confidence and right words.
This “realness” rewards you, not just with some short-lived admiration, but an enduring sense of love and trust from your kids and those around you. And that stuff is the real deal.
“You have to be strong, be their hero above all else, never let them see you sweat (or cry).” I call BS.
Be real. Be strong in your honesty. Be you.
In truth and love,