Growing up I always wondered how my father could be so patient with my sister and me. There were days that I was sure that he would get mad when we had done something wrong, yet he would just smile and sit down to talk to me about what I had done. This stood in stark contrast to what I had seen other father's do to their children. All too often they would lose control, yelling and screaming at their children. The terror visible in their children's eyes.
Merriam-Webster defines "patience" as the ability to remain calm when dealing with a difficult situation, task or person. In fatherhood, patience is the ability to remain calm and deal with your child's behavior in a calm and loving manner. I don't remember ever seeing my father lose his temper with us. When Joseph is acting up or misbehaving I start to get upset with him, but then I look at him and see the little baby boy that I held in my arms, and I take a deep breath and calm down. Getting upset or angry and lashing out at him will not do either of us any good. I think about my father and how he would have reacted to me doing what Joseph may have done and it makes me smile. Even though he has been gone for over 20 years now, he is still guiding me in my journey through fatherhood.
There are still times when I am surprised with a parents reaction to what their children do. I've had the displeasure, on more than one occasion, to hear a parent berate their children with foul language and threaten them with physical violence. In what world is it acceptable to use that type of language with a child? What example is the parent setting for them? These parents always seem to have the same old excuse, That is how I was raised by my parents so it must be good enough for my kids! Well I am here to tell you that you are wrong. The fact that someone was raised under those same conditions does not make it right or acceptable. Kids are a precious gift and they are learning from us, from our every word and action.
Remember always that our children are our legacy. They will take in everything we do as their parents and begin to mold their view of parenthood. Good or bad, who they become is a direct result of everything that we do for and to them.We reap what we sow, an old saying that has a lot of meaning in begin a father. Next time your kids are driving you nuts, open you heart and see them as the baby they used to be. Give them guidance and lots of love rather than foul language and physical abuse.