Strong male figures are important in any person’s life. For many, this figure is a child’s father, but for others, it may be a step parent, sibling, teacher, boss, friend, co-worker, other male figure, or even God, as aptly sung in Good Good Father. This is a perfect day to express gratitude for those influences. This Father’s Day 2016 we want to celebrate “Good Good Fathers” and good men everywhere — which includes all those men who put forth solid effort!
I see two issues that perplex many of today’s fathers. The first is how to prepare their children for the future economically. The second is how to have successful relationships.
It is no longer enough to just teach your child to get an education and a good job. No longer are large publicly traded employers employee focused. They are primarily investor focused. This fundamental shift is apparent in age discrimination and other employment cases I have handled, as well as society at large, over the past two decades. The age old advice still rings true in that the largest source of income and wealth building a person usually has is his or her job income. But, there is so much more. The children of this generation must be taught about budgeting in lieu of just simple check registers and, most importantly, investing and long term growth mutual funds. They must be taught to abhor credit and interest and not to be seduced by a consumer-istic society. The best start to explain fundamental concepts is Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. For good fathers, out there everywhere, and any person who wants financial security for themselves or others, I strongly recommend this program.
Another popular book on this subject is Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Lechter discuses how the only way to break free from the “Rat Race” is to focus on accounting and investing. While the world has changed, the education system has not. Our youth still need education to prosper, but they will not be well educated when young on investing or accounting unless the parent starts that process. “Getting a good education and making good grades no longer ensures success, and nobody seems to have noticed, except our children.”
There is, or can be, a great simplicity between men and women in relationships. Since, it is Father’s Day, let’s start with the father and daughter dynamic. Raising a daughter need not be complex or so very foreign an idea to that of raising a son. The giving of quality time is critical to all children, as is being a role model.
Recently, I tweeted about a book called Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters. In it, Dr. Meg Meeker discusses 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know. She discusses the important role a father can and should play in their daughter’s life. While her book focuses specifically on fathers, the same characteristics she is encouraging for the fathers could be implemented by any strong male figure in your daughter’s life, or even that of other women and the influence a man has. In the chapter “Be the Man You Want Her to Marry,” Dr. Meeker discusses how important father/daughter relationships are because people “are drawn to what they know.” It is important to remember, “you [her dad] are the man who will teach your daughter about men.” Strong Fathers and Strong Men are good examples.
The author also states a good father should teach his daughter unapologetic morals in her chapter: “Teach Her to Fight.” A daughter confident in proper moral standards, will be able to resist temptations with integrity and confidence. It is important for fathers and positive male role models to listen to women and teach them their opinions are valid and should be respected.
The divorce rates are staggering, single households are common, and technologically induced isolation from real life interaction is widespread. The world needs as many positive male role models as possible who can and will engage in real life communication and interaction well.
After role modeling, generosity with time, communication and respect are three extremely valuable gifts men can give others. This can help children learn financial prosperity and how to have successful relationships. Financial stability and successful loving relationships are two of the most important predictors of happiness.
For the happiness given by fathers and men, we give thanks this Father’s Day 2016!
Meeker, Meg. M.D. 2006. Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know. New York, NY: Ballantine Books.
Kiyosaki, Robert & Lechter, Sharon. CPA. 1997 Rich Dad Poor Dad. New York, NY: Warner Business Books.