A healthy fatherly relationship is when a father is open and transparent enough to hold his child accountable in love – not in judgement and without compromise.
When a father demonstrates authenticity, he is building trust which is a key cornerstone in establishing a solid relationship. A child needs to trust that his/her father’s intentions are always pure. This helps a child to legitimize their father’s authority even when they do not agree with his decision. They recognize that although he/she may not agree with their father’s position on a particular matter — they still respect his authority and most important the office he holds as their dad. This trust secures that child in knowing that their father is more concerned about constructing a relationship than constructing criticism.
When a father repeatedly engages in constructive criticism, often times the child feels that the relationship is based more on assessment than accessibility — causing the child to feel more judged than loved and more reviewed than recognized. In order for a child to be transparent, the father has to initiate transparency first.
Instead of throwing stones from a glass house, fathers should demonstrate their love by revealing themselves through one. Sometimes it’s okay for fathers to expose themselves like glass, because it allows them to be transparent and vulnerable when their child needs him the most.
A father should strive to leave a legacy for his children. His goal should be to constantly provide value in his child’s life, but never at the expense of the relationship.
Rise Forward Questions:
Fathers, are you constructing relationships with your child/children or constructing criticism? Are you assessing more or are you more accessible?
Rise Forward Activity:
- If so, ask yourself what are you holding on to that is preventing you from building a transparent relationship with your child/children based on confidence and love.
- Be accountable.
- Choose to leave a legacy or you’ll end up leaving them longing.