Humans are self-aware. Some people are more or less aware of themselves than others, but it is safe to say that we are conscious of ourselves all the time.
We are aware enough to avoid doing things that might be inappropriate or embarrassing. We are aware enough to know our responsibility at work, or whether people of interest to us are nearby.
Yet for all that self-awareness, and possibly because of it, we often fail to see ourselves as others see us. This is particularly important in our role as a parent.
I was reminded of this in recent years as a Grandad. I was visiting one of my children and the suggestion was made that some of the grandchildren might like to have a sleep-over at Nanna and Grandad’s house. There was great enthusiasm for the suggestion. I was a little surprised because I don’t think my home is particularly interesting to young children.
What I had to recognise is that my grandchildren see me through their eyes. They see me as a very significant person in their life, as a grandad. I might see myself as an older man, with greying hair, interested in matters that children wouldn’t even understand. I might see myself as of no interest to young children, but to some young children I hold a special place.
I remembered how much I enjoyed visiting my grandparents and exploring around their home and yard. They might have spent most of their time talking with my parents, but they were still very special people in my world.
So a few years ago I recorded a podcast for Real Talk For Real Men, discussing being a Father in a Child’s World. I wanted to point out just how significant men are as daddy in their child’s life, and why being a dad is not as ‘natural’ as we have thought.
I tried to point out our need to view ourselves through the child’s perspective. And also how to guard your kids’ precious emotions by watching how you react to them.
I also discussed why a dad’s interaction with his children will shape the child’s impression of who God is, and what might happen to your children as adults if you are not diligent in how you represent God to your children.
I suggest that all parents, Mums and Dads, listen in to that podcast. It’s available at: https://realtalkrealmen.podbean.com/e/real-talk-4-real-men-episode-31-being-a-father-in-a-childs-world/