Open Letter to Dads & Stepdads

First off, if you’re a dad, one of two things is true. You understand how lucky you are or you don’t. There are guys that see it as a pain, an unwanted responsibility, or a nuisance. And to those guys, I say (with all due respect), you are a selfish jerk. And you’re missing out on something you’ll never get anywhere else. Once they’re grown, you’re out of luck.

I haven’t been a stepdad for very long, so I don’t claim to be any sort of expert. But I’ve learned one thing – what matters to kids is the time you spend with them, and how you treat them when you are with them. That’s it. So if you are a dad and you aren’t spending as much time as you can with your kids, I’d go so far as to say you are stealing from them. You decided you were giving your time to that kid when you decided to have (or adopt) the kid. Intentional or not.

When you don’t spend time with your kid, they think there’s something wrong with THEM. They won’t understand that you were a selfish jerk until they’re older. So not only are you stealing from them, you’re hurting their self image.

There are times that all I want to do is anything BUT play with Barbies or watch Disney. I understand that it’s not always what you want to be doing. But the way her face lights up makes you forget about that pretty darn quick.

You’re a man, and with that comes responsibilities. You can shirk them, but you shouldn’t. And if you do, the consequences are permanent. For the lucky kids, someone else will come along and fill in your role. For the unlucky kids though, something else will replace you. It may be bad relationships (aka relationships with someone like you), drugs, alcohol, or simply underachievement because of low self worth. Some kids overcome your lack of involvement in spite of it all.

If you made a baby, or you adopted a baby, or you married someone with a kid – your time is now their time, and it’s wrong for you to deny them that time or resent them for it.

So stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

  1 comment for “Open Letter to Dads & Stepdads

  1. The Troops
    January 3, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    However…your time is also still your time. You do need to spend time with your kids, I agree. But you don’t have to always do it playing Barbies or whatever other thing THEY want to do. Forcing your child to go on a hike or go to the hardware store because you need some PVC pipe or making them sit in the deer stand with you because you want to go hunting might not be their first choice of “quality time” but when they grow up they remember those events just as fondly as when you sat in their room and played with dolls.

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