Fathers and Small Things


by Mark Brandenburg MA, CPCC

I was packed and ready to leave for my two day trip. My mind had been consumed with work and with many of the small details of getting ready to go.

As I got into the car to leave, my thoughts turned to my children. I'd been preoccupied for the last few days, and now I'd be gone for a few more.

How to stay in touch with your kids during busy times is often a father's dilemma. Men tend to focus on one thing extremely well for long periods, but this can lead to trouble. Shifting from work to your family life isn't always the easiest thing to do. And if you don't show your kids that you're thinking about them, they may assume that you're not.

As I started down the road, I suddenly stopped the car and turned around.

I drove back to my house, found a couple of cards, and wrote a short message to each of my children. I put each in a "secret" place where I knew they'd find it.

When I called the next night, it was clear that they'd received the cards. "Daddy, I got your card," they both blurted excitedly. "When did you do that?"

My heart was warmed to hear this. It was such a small thing. But it had a big impact on my kids. It was their "proof" that I was thinking about them. And it was encouragement for me to continue to do the small things that have a big impact.

Here are some ideas for fathers to show your kids that you're thinking of them.

• Call them to say hi when you're at work. It doesn't have to be more than two minutes a week, and they'll notice your efforts.

• Leave special messages for them around the house when you're not there. This lets them know that they're in your thoughts, even when you're not there.

• When you're out of town, call your kids and keep them up to date on what you're doing. This helps your kids to feel involved in your life.

• Surprise your kids by showing up at an event where you weren't expected. This shows them that they're high on your priority list.

• Make sure you tell your kids that you're thinking of them when you're away from them. Tell them that you think of them when you're at work. They may not realize this until you tell them.

As fathers get busier and work longer hours, the little things can sometimes be lost. Don't lose the opportunity to show your kids how important
they are.

Take a moment to do the small things for your kids.

It won't seem small to them.


Mark Brandenburg MA, CPCC, coaches men to be better fathers and husbands. He is the author of "25 Secrets of Emotionally Intelligent Fathers" http://www.markbrandenburg.com/father.htm

Sign up for his FREE bi-weekly newsletter, "Dads, Don't Fix Your Kids," at http://www.markbrandenburg.com.

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