Fathering Goodness

Father and son having fun Since this is a parenting blog with a focus on personal development, we normally post tips and advice that parents can use to improve their own lives and the life of their children. But today’s post will be a bit different.

Today, I want to tell you about some things that happened to me with my own kids and to appeal to both mothers and fathers to do the best you can to raise your children in balance and harmony, including giving them enough time with their father.

This week, we watched the movie “Brave”. I cried at the end (I will not spoil it for you). After the movie, it occurred to me that scenes in which parents and children realize how important they are to each other (sometimes when it is too late) make me cry every time. Maybe this is part of my inspiration for today.

Our family has lived in a good number of places around the world and has visited many others. In all of them, fathers mostly go to work in the morning, leaving their children with their mothers, and come back in the evening tired, stressed, preoccupied and unaware of what their family has gone through during the day.

This used to be my life too. For 15 years, I worked for large companies, spent long hours commuting, stayed late at work “just to finish something on time” and even traveled on business. Among our friends, I actually spent the least amount of time on the road or at work and the most amount of time at home, but for the most part, I was “missing in action” as far as my family was concerned.

Read more about why kids should spend time with their dad


Save Your Marriage (17): The "Right" Trap

Two dogsMarriage, like other relationships, requires two people with a special connection between them. There are many reasons why marriages do not last long and one of the reasons is falling into the “right” trap.

When I see couples during their relationship coaching program, the “right” trap is always there. It is not always spoken, but it underlies a lot of the conflicts. One of the partners or both of them have a strong feeling about their “rightfulness” and they cannot let it go. The problem is not just thinking that they are right, but believing the “right thing” exists, because when they sort out the first conflict by putting pressure and giving up, they get a confirmation of their “rightness” and they expect the next time to be the same – one is right and the other one gives up – a recipe for disaster.

Mira and Chris came for relationship coaching because Mira was convinced she was right and Chris was wrong. It happens a lot that one person does the booking and it sounds like this:

“Chris, why are you here?”

“Mira asked me to come”.

It was a very honest answer and it helped me find out who was seeing themselves as the “right” one in that relationship.

“OK, Mira, so why are you here?”

“I need you to explain to Chris…”

I knew that was another “right” trap.

First, I need to explain that our relationship coaching program is not mediation. It is meant to help the couple find their strengths and use them to renew their love and build their relationship on a mature and respectful foundation. If you want to get help in your relationship so the therapist can tell your partner he/she is wrong, you are trapped.

Read more about how to save your marriage