Several weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet with Kim DeMarchi and Ann DeWitt of Passport To Parenting and tape a live show on my book, The Dad Connection. Not only did I have a wonderful time meeting with both of them, but it’s always special when you find that someones parenting values align with your own.
Please listen as the ladies at Passport to Parenting and I discuss:
- Three rules I used when raising my boys
- The most important thing you can do as a parent
- The building the bridge metaphor from The Dad Connection
- Advice for single parents
- Our personal parenting inspirations
- How to stay connected to your child, even in the tween years
CLICK HERE to hear our conversation and the full Passport to Parenting show on The Dad Connection.
Being the ‘best dad you can be’ is not enough, it simply isn’t. You hear new parents say this all the time before their child’s birth and it is becoming the new modern dads mantra. Instead of striving for mediocrity, strive for greatness.
Being a great dad is not rocket science. First, there are hundreds if not thousands of books and well informed articles that tell us how to do it. We’d have to be illiterate not to be able to get it. Second, being a parent is one of our primary survival instincts. Breeding to propagate our species is the core driving force in our gene code, every gene is oriented to satisfying that single objective. It is true for all species. We focus on surviving just so we can mate and push our species to the next generation. Our genes adapt in order to survive and reproduce. Think about it, without reproduction no species would continue to exist, it’s unarguable science.
So the responsibility of first creating offspring and then caring for it is paramount to a successful species development and expansion. The human species has embraced that strategy with relentless force, like no other species to date. Other species, even bacteria and viruses, survive through massive reproduction efforts, but no species embraces ‘caring’ like the humans. It is one of the primary distinguishing aspects of being human. Elephants, wolves and chimps have varying levels of care for their offspring, but no other species can hold a candle to us humans.
If we exercise our capacity to focus and pay attention it will grow and the relationship will grow, just like our children. Our adult relationships do not and should not have the same unconditional priority and commitment as our children but I think we can take some of the good practices that we develop and grow within the dynamic child/parent exchange and apply them to our more meaningful adult relationships.
How Much Attention Is Too Much? – http://wp.me/pXO5l-i0
Adult Attention Struggle – http://wp.me/pXO5l-i8
Being Attentive In Adult Relationships – http://wp.me/pXO5l-id
Giving The Gift of Attention – http://wp.me/pXO5l-ih
Energy In Adult Relationships Get Easier With Time – http://wp.me/pXO5l-il
This blog post is a continuation of the blog post Being Attentive In Adult Relationships in which I discussed the often distracted attention level in adult relationships. I left off discussing the increased energy and focus in adult relationships.
Personally, I don’t believe attention requires too much energy and focus, I think most of us have more capacity than we express. What draws this energy out is another issue altogether. I think friendships, direct relationships, and critical adult connections deserve and warrant our undistracted attention in more regular and ordinary interactions. If this deeper and more nourishing energy doesn’t get pulled out of us for some important reason or another, then we need to give it and we need to give if just for the sake of giving, much like we do with our children. What’s to lose?
I also believe that the more we exercise this effort of ‘giving’ our attention in the form of energy and focus, the more we build capacity, like building a muscle in our body. We certainly build our ‘child attention’ muscle by using it. Most parents find being a parent easier and their energy more accessible with their second and third children. Why? Because their capacity grew with use and exercise.