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Fatherhood: Include Your Children

###I like to do things by myself and that’s not healthy.

I grew up with the unhealthy mentality that I needed to prove myself to everyone. I had to show them that I didn’t need help, that I could do life on my own and was perfectly happy with it (I wasn’t). Counselors have told me it stems back to my parents going through a divorce at an age where I was needing to receive validation from my father (10). I’m not using that as an excuse as to why I still struggle with it but identifying the root cause has been *very* helpful in breaking through the lies I’ve been told and have told myself over the years: [**My validation doesn’t come from man.**](http://seanleacy.com/where-does-my-strength-come-from/)

To break this habit I’ve done my best to include my son in as much of life as I can. I don’t want him to ever question what I think of him. I want to be intentional. I want to be engaged. I know that I can clean the garage more efficiently or make a batch of cookies 10 times faster by myself but including him in the process breeds both a sense of bonding and validation for both of us. He may make a mess of things but that’s part of the learning process. I want my instinctual response to be grace and peace when he does things differently than I ask rather than snap back with “What are you doing?!” and take it over. *It’s so easy to try and do it alone because my patience isn’t challenged and I don’t have to address the issues that I’m trying to break here.*

![My dad, son and I building a bed](/content/images/2015/02/fynn-helping-build-his-bed.jpg “caption=”My son helping my dad and I build his bed)

Someone much wiser than I used the analogy of a child “helping” his father moving dirt across the yard as a depiction of how we work with *the* Father. The dad was shoveling the piles of dirt in to the wheelbarrow while his son was using a little toy bucket. Did the impact of that tiny bucket make a dent in the total job? No. Did he get in the way? As any parent who has tried doing this with their child will attest, yes, he probably did but the impact that being included made on the child was worth any amount of stress or frustration the father may have had. God doesn’t *need* our help with the tasks He’s set us to but He *enjoys* investing in us and teaching us to work like He does.

Though I don’t *have* to get approval from those around me it rocks my world to hear my father say, “you’re doing it right, son!”. Invest the time to encourage and train your children. Include them on your projects; it will be frustrating and challenge you in ways you may not want to deal with but both of you will come out better on the other side.

###What are some of the most memorable experiences you have had when including your children?


###Who else is taking the 28 Day Challenge?

Near the end of January 2015 I felt the need to challenge myself (and others) with writing a new blog post every day for the month of February. I *need* to write for sanity’s sake and usually work better when I challenge myself. The rules are simple: write a new post to your blog every day before 10am PST. The post needs to have at least 2 paragraphs. We are going for quantity, not quality. If you join in post a link to the others who are joining in this challenge to help build exposure. This is all about helping build the discipline of daily writing.

**John C. Massie:** [www.johnmassie.com](www.johnmassie.com)
**Twitter:** [@johnmassie](https://twitter.com/johnmassie/)

**Christopher (Twisted Christian):** [www.twistedchristian.ca](http://twistedchristian.ca/)
**Twitter:** [@twistedxtian](https://twitter.com/twistedxtian/)

Sean Leacy

Christ follower, husband & father. Geek extraordinaire, SysAdmin & avid outdoorsman. I love to lead worship & write. #DadLife #RedeemingFatherhood