“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 passed on to me a few years ago.
“I do like being capable and in control”, I thought to myself. But something seemed off. Is that it? Is that what bring a Dad is all about?
I think there is another part of the equation that actually demonstrates real strength: be exactly who you are.
Being authentic is what 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’ll be showing your kids what a good communicator and seeking help looks like. Not only will it free you from unrealistic expectations, you’ll provide your children (boys in particular) 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? What is the culture at home? Open, accepting?
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.
So, be real. Be strong. Be you.
In truth and love,