The Five Needs Kids Want Parents to Fill

#1 - Love, Affection, and a Happy Home Life

In my last post, we saw that teens said they “need help” from their parents. So let’s go directly to teens to hear what they say they need from their parents. And these apply generally for ALL kids.

Teens in many surveys have made it clear that there are five clear-cut needs they want their parents to fill: (1) love, affection, and a happy home life; (2) rules/boundaries; (3) independence/being trusted; (4) patience and understanding; and (5) affirmation.

As we look at ways to meet each of these needs, remember that undergirding all our efforts as dads is the need for wisdom. Wisdom helps us to know when it is time to confront or hug, talk or act, listen or affirm. Ask God for that wisdom to respond as you should to your child or perhaps to back off and let Him take charge.

Today we’ll look at providing love and a happy home life. In coming weeks, # 2 – 5 will be explored.

What children want most – behind their rebellion, anger or sullenness – is love. So express your love to your child. And show your love by hugs, by spending time, and by listening well.

You can provide a happy home life by first remembering that it is built on a solid, stable, affectionate and fun-loving relationship with your wife. A happy home life is NOT possible for children who see their parents not getting along.

And remember that just living in a loving environment goes a long way in producing the character building and values formation that you would like to see in your kids.

What is the best way you have found to express love to your child?

Don’t Count the Score at Halftime

ACT on This Very Powerful Piece of Advice

Don’t count the score at halftime. That may well be for you one of the most insightful, helpful, and powerful pieces of advice you ever receive as a dad. This especially applies if you are a dad of a teenager and are going through a tough, soul-wrenching period with your child.

If only we dads could really believe it in our heart of hearts and live by that motto.

We could then see in those valley periods with our teen son or daughter that this is NOT the end of the story – that another half is to played out which can well lead to a totally different outcome that what is currently being experienced.

To achieve that winning score down the road, you as dad must understand your essential task in parenting a teen – AND you must understand what teens (and all children) desire from their parents.

This is what we will look at in coming posts. The stakes are high. I recall the teen response to the question, “What message would you like to give your parents?”: “We’re not faking it. We need help”.

Dad, what more do you need to hear to make the commitment to provide that help in all the ways you can?

If you’re a dad who has experienced a terrific comeback in the “second half” with your child, share that with us.

Your Fathering Legacy – Part 3

An Awesome Responsibility - An Awesome Privilege

Yep – another post on establishing your fathering legacy.  I believe it is THAT IMPORTANT for you – and especially your children.  It cannot be missed.  Action by you must be taken.

In February, I wrote two posts about establishing your fathering legacy. I hope you gave them some serious thought and then wrote down, as I suggested, what you wanted to have as your fathering legacy.

This post is a new “call to arms” for those who did not see those previous posts, AND a serious challenge to those of you who did see them but did not act, to write down NOW what you want to leave as your fathering legacy. There is nothing more important in your role as a dad.

To gain some good perspective on this, just listen to Muhammad Ali. A sportswriter visited him on his farm in Michigan after he retired from boxing. Ali took him to his barn where all the sports mementos and awards were. Pictures of Ali at his prime had pigeon droppings on them, so he silently turned them around.

Then, gazing out the window, he overheard Ali whisper, “I had the world – and it was nothing.” Dad, that’s perspective. Ali had it all – fame, money, the whole works – but in the end it proved to be nothing.

What do you desire so greatly – what are striving to achieve someday? In the end, whatever it is will prove to be nothing.

As I said last month, invest your life in that which is eternal – your children are eternal. Your fathering legacy of values will impact not only the rest of their lives, but also the lives of your grandchildren, great grandchildren, and many more generations to come. What an awesome responsibility – what an awesome privilege!