Today my wife and I took our son to the doctor for his 2 month old check up. At the appointment, he got his first round of immunization shots. I’ve never heard him scream quite that loudly in his young life. As far as he was concerned, everything around him was falling apart. Yet as parents, we stood there and watched as all of this went on. When the medical professionals were done with their job, we were right there to comfort him.
I believe that there’s a very profound point to make in this very simple scenario. As fathers, we have the responsibility to provide for our children and protect them from all harm and danger. Yet, as we fulfill this role, there are times when we have to let them endure some short-term discomfort for their long-term benefit. Our son received his shots so though he was screaming in pain, his immune system will now be more developed, thus preventing certain diseases that he could have contracted otherwise.
Today, it’s getting shots at the doctor’s office. Before too long, it’ll be dropping him off at school or the day care center even though he might be crying because of separation anxiety. The point is that, for his ultimate good, we may have to do things that bring him some discomfort. The good thing is that at his very young age, he is developing the awareness that both Mom and Dad are there for him and he can trust us to do what’s in his best interest. I’m sure that in the not-too-distant future, he will begin to cry when picked up by someone who he deems a stranger, opting for the trusted, loving arms of his parents.
I encourage you to develop the kind of relationship with your children where they trust you wholeheartedly. They should know that as a father, you would never knowingly disappoint them or lead them astray. It’s something that I believe I have developed with my 12 year old daughter, and I aspire to develop with my newborn. Fathers play such an instrumental role in the lives of children and if we would create an atmosphere of trust, then they can grow and develop, with full assurance that we’re there for them.
Keep up the good work dad! The investment you make in your kids’ lives today will yield great dividends for generations to come!
The Upbeat Dad