I saw a parenting example recently that blew me away. It was a breath of oxygen, a bright light in the dark abyss of negative parenting that I personally witness at times. I felt it was worth sharing here.
We’ve all seen parents out in public exhibiting terrible behavior towards their children they themselves would not tolerate if it were going in the opposite direction. I’ve seen it so much, unfortunately I have almost come to expect it.
So this dad really caught me by surprise.
I was at the eye doctor with my daughter waiting for her to get her new contact lenses. There was a father also in the waiting area and he had his adorable, I am guessing about 3 year old, little daughter with him.
She was a very well behaved toddler, which makes sense with such a loving parent tending to her. He was so amazingly kind and patient with this precious little one, and it was truly heartwarming to behold.
She asked him the same questions over and over and over again.
Is that Mommy’s car over there?
When is Mommy coming back?
This went on for quite a few minutes. Most parents would have gotten to the end of their fuses, some quicker than others.
But not this dad.
Every time she asked him, he was just as kind and loving and patient in his answers as the times before.
He astounded me.
She then sat on his lap and asked him what all the letters were on his shirt, and she traced each one with her tiny finger. He told her what each letter was in that same sweet, loving tone of voice no matter how many times she asked him.
He never spoke harshly to her or lost his patience with her. He behaved as though he really loved being her dad.
I may be reading way too much into this, but I don’t think so. Be it either conscious or subconscious, it seemed as though he was looking to the future, trying (and succeeding) to foster and develop a truly loving relationship with his daughter. A relationship that would not only stretch into the realm of her teen years, but way beyond that.
This dad made me say, “WOW!” I was so impressed with him, I was compelled to write this article about it. He had a real impact on me.
So how do we emulate this awesome WOW dad?
Here is a quick little acrostic to map out a plan for being the embodiment of a WOW parent:
W – Words.
This dad never once used harsh, critical, or insulting words to his little girl. He was kind and patient. I have observed other parents who were not so tolerant of their children’s questions and conversations. This man set the bar very high for parents when it comes to speaking to a child of any age, whether it be a toddler or a teenager.
Make a conscious effort to speak kind, encouraging words to your kids. Those words are far more powerful than any of us realize. They can be weapons of mass destruction or the elixir that guides your children down the path of success. We as parents must use that power with tremendous responsibility.
(Words) can be weapons of mass destruction or the elixir that guides your children down the path of success. We as parents must use that power with tremendous responsibility.
O – Opportunity.
Parents have the opportunity every day to do something amazing with and for our teens. Take advantage of those opportunities to be patient and kind to them. They do not forget it.
Taking the opportunity to listen when our kids want to talk with us is vital. Be present in the moment with them. Put down the cell phone. Stop what you are doing and throw your full attention to them for a while. I promise nothing else is as important as what they want to say to you.
W – Wisdom.
The wisdom in that man’s actions, and even reflected in the look on his face, was overwhelming to me. I could see a man who was looking hard and fast at the future of his family and at the relationship he wanted to cultivate with his little baby girl.
Sometimes we get caught up in what’s going on right now and forget to think about how what we are doing now drastically affects our lives in the future. And the lives of our kids. Live intentionally. Parent intentionally. Otherwise, you may miss the mark you want to hit.
I was so very moved by that dad and his sweet little one. I have tears in my eyes just writing this.
My hat is off to you, sir, whoever you are. You made my day by being so wonderful to your baby girl. She is lucky to have you.
If you have observed something similar to this example, or if you have any thoughts to share on how to be a WOW parent, then please scroll down and share them in the comment section below. I would love to hear from you.