I recently participated in a conference for men sponsored by the US Department of Education. The focus of the conference was on discovering ways to involve men in the education of their children. Many of the men expressed that they had never attended their child’s school, never assisted them with their homework, never attended a parent-teacher conference.
A number of reasons were offered to explain why they had not been involved. They didn’t finish school themselves and felt embarrassed that they couldn’t assist their child with their school work. They had been imprisoned and were not permitted to come on school grounds. They were behind in their child support and were afraid they might be arrested… and so on.
In my statement to them, however, I suggested that men do not realize just how important they are in the lives of their children. They don’t have to be able to assist their child with their homework. They only need to insist that their child does it. They don’t have to go to the school; it would be great if they did, but they can check their child’s report card. They can congratulate their child on getting good grades, doing a great job at something, or just simply saying to them, “I love you and I’m proud of you.”
A little encouragement from a father goes a long way. It would be well and wonderful if all fathers had a close personal relationship with their children, but the reality is they don’t. Many do, and we congratulate them, but the down side is that many don’t.
What you need to know Dad is that it takes so little to make such a big difference.
Just after Jesus was baptized, the Bible reports that God spoke and said, “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased” (St. Matthew 3:17). A father’s approval means everything! It makes a son feel more confident. It makes a daughter feel good about herself.
Just your approval Dad fills a need that cannot be measured or quantified. It’s not a lot, but it means everything!