I’m a father to two boys, 13 and 9. It was the youngest that asked me the question which changed the way I thought of myself as a parent. He was about 5 years old at the time, and it hit me like a ton of bricks.
“Daddy, have you ever smiled?”
I was taken off guard at first by the question. What could he mean? Of course I smile. Anybody who knows me may wonder if I’ve ever been serious.
The more I thought about it though, the kid was right. His perception of me as not only a father, but a person, painted a terrible reality.
Don’t misunderstand, on the surface, I’m a good dad. I don’t beat my children; I hug them, kiss them, and tell them I love them. All the things we think are the important parts of being a good parent. Obviously, it wasn’t enough.
I had to take a look at myself from my kid’s perspective. I saw 5 negatives I knew I had to change to positives.