WADE LAW GROUP
THE LEGAL ISSUE 408-842-1688
THE BEST PART OF BEING A DAD
My former spouse and I divorced when my son was 5 and my daughter was 10. It was a hard period to go through, but one good thing that came out of it was the chance to step up my game as a dad. I had 50-50 custody, and I learned to carve out my own connection with my kids. It gave me more time to nurture that relationship. I could no longer defer to my spouse to handle all the discipline or help the kids with their homework assignments, so my options were to step up or lose the opportunity to have a great relationship with them. It wasn’t even something to think about, really. My kids and my work are the two most important things in my life, and I’ve always found time for them. For me, one of the most challenging areas of parenthood has been learning how to implement discipline. I love my kids, and I know I need to discipline them, but it’s hard to see them sad or upset. You walk a fine line between making them happy and initiating discipline. When they were younger, it was rare that they’d have to go into timeout, so as they got older, I had to figure out how to walk that line successfully. I know that for the benefit of our relationship and as the parent, I have to lay down some rules. I’ve watched them get sad at times because I told them they were grounded. It hurts me to see them sad, but I also know it will help them be stronger people. When they do something wrong, I don’t resort to yelling or getting angry. Instead, I talk to them. There’s more power in an open conversation than there is in a yelling match. Even when they misbehave, my kids know that I’ll love them no matter what — they’re going to get unconditional love from their dad. I’m lucky to have two incredible kids with whom I have great relationships. I’m so grateful for that. The best part of being a dad is having an unbreakable bond with these two people I brought into the world. For Father’s Day, it’s a tradition for the kids and me to go to a Sunday brunch somewhere nice. We may spend some time at the park afterward and walk around the neighborhood — all that really matters is that we’re together.
My dad was an auto body mechanic, and he worked a lot. I was disappointed that I didn’t get to have a strong relationship with him, and I made it a point to promise myself that, if I ever had kids, I wouldn’t be like him. I love to work, but I never wanted it to leave my kids wanting for attention. I always keep that at the forefront of my brain when I think about them. Today, I’m grateful to say that I have a strong relationship with my two kids. Parenthood is similar to many aspects of life in the sense that you have to invest time to make it successful. It takes effort, and it takes love. Any time you prioritize it, it strengthens your bond. “Even when they misbehave, my kids know that I’ll love them no matter what — they’re going to get unconditional love from their dad.”
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