Welcome to Faithful Fatherhood
Ok, so you have been stuck at home for a little bit with your kids. You might be just realizing that this isn’t ending anytime soon. The COVID-19 quarantine is just starting. More states are going to issue a shelter in place order – it is coming. If not already, then soon, you will realize where you stand with your kids. The honeymoon, perhaps yours was a comedy of errors worth a daytime TV series, has worn off the now everything is a little raw. Your left wondering, how do I re-engage, how do I make this happen over the long haul? Welcome to Faithful Fatherhood.
Do you want to engage with your kids and build a relationship? Do you know how to do that? Most of us experience our fault, but we don’t know how to be different. The system I am going to write about will equip you to at least get started.
If this is your first time with me, my name is Jacob Pannell. I am a stay at home, dad. I also have 4 degrees in 3 fields, business, science, and linguistics. Today, I spend the majority of my time these days thinking, reading, and, most importantly, living faithful fatherhood.
The first thing you need to know is that fatherhood is different than fathering. So, do not expect parenting advice. I just haven’t been a parent long enough to give more than anecdotal evidence toward parenting – I can point you to a bunch of books, though. Parenthood, however, focuses on you the parent. By focusing on the parent nad parenthood, we end up succeeding and helping others succeed in parenting. Parenthood is upstream from parenting.
Today I want to begin the rollout of a system to help us all achieve faithful fatherhood. I designed this system to be simple to remember and easy to start, yet it contains a depth to grow with the relationship you want to build with your children. The system has three main components: teach, play, and rest.The system has three main components: Teach, Play, and Rest. #faithfulfatherhood Click To Tweet
I love starting with teaching because most parents, especially dads, naturally teach our kids things. We teach them what not to eat, the bug in the yard, or what not to touch, the stove, or what not to do, streak in public. Teaching contains more than what not to do, but what to do. The what and how to do things is the best and often brings the most joy. First words, first steps, first foods, reading, self-expression, these are the parenting milestones that bring us joy.
A teacher is the most natural position we hold as an authority over our children. It is a great place to begin your relationship because it feels right most of the time. As our kids get older, though, this is the hardest position to hold because most of us don’t alter our methods to match the changes our children experience. I will tackle the changes in teaching first because an improvement in our ability to teach yields the most immediate gains in our fatherhood.As our kids get older though, this is the hardest position to hold because most of us don’t alter our methods to match the changes our children experience. #teaching #faithfulfatherhood Click To Tweet
The importance of play finds its way into almost any work on parenting or fatherhood. I even know a few people who are doing specific work on both the theological and parenting necessity of play. Beginner’s Tip: getting down on the knee crushing floor is often the best way to start playing. Play might be the deepest well to plumb for connection with our kids. In my experience, it is also the best way to access our deeper selves.
Play is usually where we get the pay-off of parenting after those first successful moments of teaching. Once your kid can crawl or walk and start talking, play is where we continue to experience the shared joy of family life. We also work through some of the most emotional and impactful things in play.Beginner's Tip: getting down on the knee crushing floor is often the best way to start play. #parenting #faithfulfatherhood Click To Tweet
Rest might be the most desired and most unnatural thing for us. We need to grow in and learn about rest during our fatherhood. In our world today, if you rest well, a lot of other potential problems will take care of themselves. Don’t overlook rest in your fatherhood. While learning more about how to teach will give you immediate results, resting will provide you with the subtler long-term life benefits.
Many of our mental issues today are a result of a system that increases pressure ever so slowly because we never rest. Most of us exist and operate in a system designed to wear us out. Most of us just never explore other options before it is too late. I would encourage you to explore opportunities for rest today. It doesn’t matter who you are or how old you are; rest is available to all of us who seek it.
While teaching and play seem natural to being a parent, helping our children rest might be the most critical and life-saving thing we can do for them and ourselves. Resting is the release of all the pressure we and others and society put on and in us. Do not miss the principle of rest. The old maxim of “you can rest when you’re dead” is only too real for those children who commit suicide. For many, they finally rest when the world can no longer get to them. Perhaps the maxim needs to be re-phrased, “I will rest, so I am not dead.”While teaching and play seem natural to being a parent, helping our children rest might be the most important and life-saving thing we can do for them and for ourselves. Click To Tweet