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Dads2dads: Laboring through fatherhood

Tom Tozer and Bill Black • Updated Sep 3, 2017 at 5:00 PM

Labor Day designates the end of summer and, most significantly, the beginning of football season. Actually, it was first celebrated in 1882 and declared a holiday in 1894 in honor of the achievements and dedication of all those who contribute to the health of our nation through their hard work.

Who more contributes to the health and welfare of our society than responsible, hard-working dads? Where would we be without them? We can see the problems that arise when a dad is not involved in his child’s life. So we would like to take this opportunity to recognize those weary warriors who toil, serve and steadfastly hang in there through thick and thin to create and preserve a safe and supportive environment for their children. 

The labor movement

Responsible fathers – those who realize and understand their role – personify Labor Day every day. Their tasks never change nor diminish, and as guardians of their loved ones, they are always on duty. 

Their work is here, there and everywhere. Their toolbox is full. They make adjustments. They pound home their beliefs and expectations. They drill, tighten, measure and balance. Oh yes, sometimes they try to fix it when it’s not broken … and they screw things up. But occasionally they hit the nail on the head. They are on-call 24-7. Good dads don’t get a day off. They’re always on the clock.

Even when dad feels as useful as a hammer without a handle, he is a key figure in shaping the kind of adults his sons and daughters will become. If he were paid for his paternal position, no amount would be enough. 

It’s Labor Day...

form a union

Make sure you are part of a union with your son or daughter. Make the connection even when it is not easy. Your efforts may seem unappreciated or out of balance at times. However, you’re dad – you have the muscle to persevere. Raising a child requires dialogue, negotiation, compromise – coming to terms that will advance and enhance the union. Your commitment to that process will pay dividends.

If you have been an absent father, either physically or just mentally, and want to come back into your child’s life, this “unionizing” process is important. Take it slow. If you can, check with the child’s mother on approaches to take. Moms are experts at reading a child’s temperament. When the time seems right, call a union meeting. Go to a movie with your son or daughter. Attend your child’s sporting event or school performance. Just having you there or just being together can be important.

No strike clause

A dad who knows his role and assumes the responsibility of good parenting, works hard to preserve the union. Sometimes that involves stepping back. At times, it takes multiple attempts. But no matter what occurs, don’t give up. Your child should have no reason to doubt the solidarity of your relationship. 

Tom Tozer and Bill Black are authors of “Dads2Dads: Tools for Raising Teenagers.” Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter @dads2dadsllc. Contact them at tomandbill@dads2dadsllc.com.

 

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