Four New Year Resolutions (you might actually keep!)
Ian Soars, CEO of Dad.info and Fegans talked to us about resolutions for 2020. Based on his past experience he has decided not to bother setting arbitrary resolutions about not drinking or going to the gym. Instead this year Ian’s resolutions are all about making sure his kids know he approves of them.
Over to you Ian.
For me, it is all about resolutions you can keep. By now you will have failed at quitting alcohol and chocolate and gym is a joke and none of your resolutions are going to feel that good. I hope I can offer you some hope and suggest four new resolutions that...
A) you will keep
B) will make you more loved
C) will make your life a lot easier
I know, I know what you are thinking there is no such thing as a resolution that can do all that but I promise you there is, but it has nothing to do with what you eat or how much you exercise. It is everything to do with how we work with our kids.
I’m in a men’s group and we meet together occasionally and talk about what is going on with our lives. One thing led to another and we were all talking about how we still craved approval from our Dads. As we go through life we look for people who value us, people who think we are great just as we are. If we don’t get this at home we will look for it elsewhere. As parents we sometimes see that. Our kids try and change themselves just to fit in because they are looking for approval.
So here are my four resolutions to help me approve of my children.
If I can do that, it will transform my life and their lives and our relationship. If I can keep these, not just for 2020 but for life I hope my children will never have to say that they wish I’d approved of them.
1) I will approve of my children for who they are.
I will tell them I like their courage, the way they think. I will tell them I love their kindness. It doesn’t matter what you say as long as you DON’T focus on their looks! Telling your daughter or son they are pretty isn’t what they need. I don’t sit here now regretting my Dad didn’t call me hunky as a boy! I want to approve of my kids for their character, for who they are.
2) I will approve of my children for how they think.
This isn’t about doing what your 5-year old suggests but it is about listening to them and taking their ideas seriously. So for instance include them in your work. If you are a scaffolder, ask your five year old how they’d scaffold a tower block. Clearly they aren’t going to know how to but if they make a suggestion take it on board. If they say use more bolts then a few days later tell them you have been sure to use plenty of bolts. Then your five-year old will know you approve of how they think.
3) I will tell my kids when they are smarter than me.
If you couldn’t have done their maths homework at their age let them know tell them you wish you’d been as wise as they are when you were their age. Approve of their intelligence.
4) Approve of their interests.
Don’t nag them while they’re on the Xbox and say when I was young I was out climbing trees, maybe you were or maybe you weren’t it doesn’t matter. If they’re playing Xbox, play with them or at least take an interest in the game's story. You need to let them know that if it interests them then it interests you because you are interested in your child.
These resolutions will dramatically change your relationship because if they have big news to share with you or something has gone wrong they’re going to come to you if you approve of them.
Hopefully your children will never say, I wish my Dad had approved of me.
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