There are a lot of clichés about fathers. Commercials often portray us as the ‘bumbling parent’ who gets lost trying to change a diaper and instantly panics as soon as mom isn’t around. We’re routinely characterized as the rock in the family that never cries, the parent who tells our son to always be tough and never show their emotions, and threatens our daughter’s dates at the front door with a shotgun or pitch fork. We’re supposed to go to work and be the breadwinner, drink beer, and enjoy spending our time on the couch watching sports more than spending time with our kids.
It’s one of the secrets of parenthood: Not just children get separation anxiety! Many parents are unprepared for the feelings of sadness and emptiness they have when separated from their children. The emotions that pop up when you leave your child with a babysitter or when you watch your child drive away in the school bus can span from a dull ache all the way to worry and panic.
In my opinion, disrespectful behavior is at an all-time high in our society. Stress seems to be fueling an increase in angry outbursts, unconscionable remarks, and a general lack of accountability. I have certainly noticed this in my daily life, in my work life, and in my family’s experiences outside the home. So what can we do to counterbalance a sudden spike in road rage, uncivil treatment, overreaction - or even when we feel like ‘going off’ on someone ourselves?
Without the benefit of body language, which can help soften or defuse tense conversations, online discussions are ripe for misunderstandings and heated exchanges. How can we make social media a kinder place for the healthy exchange of views?
Calgary’s Child Magazine © 2018 Calgary’s Child