I am getting a little dizzy here. Everyone has given everyone feedback except for Dad. Am I right? So let’s put Dad in the center of the circle. Everyone will give him feedback and he will also give feedback to himself. Got it!
We’ll start with Mom. “Sometimes I feel like he is one of the kids!” Whoops! Mom forgot. It is positive comments only. Let’s add something else to our exercise. Let’s say you have to talk to the person directly and look him or her in the eye. It is much harder to be critical of someone when you are face to face with them. You can see how they will react to your comments. So whatever Mom says she must say it candidly to Dad. The words AND THE DELIVERY must be positive. This is not the time or place for sarcasm. Luckily small children don’t even know what sarcasm is so that won’t be a problem.
With the above caveats in mind Mom says, “Dad is a great playmate for the kids. He invents cool games and he makes them laugh! I love watching them together.” Nice! Zak says, “Sometimes I tell Dad things that I don’t tell Mom…about being a guy, I guess. It’s easier to talk to him about it. And it’s not like the kids at school. Dad doesn’t laugh or make fun. He just listens and he says that he knows what I mean. I don’t have to brag.” This is awesome. Zak can tell his Dad what he feels about his sexuality and growing up. It’s a great gift for both of them.
Tabitha is next. It is a safe bet that she is crazy about Dad. In the best of circumstances a little girl loves her daddy beyond all reason. God forbid that a father would ever abuse that love. “I love it when Daddy reads me a story at bedtime. I feel so…” she pauses. She can’t quite put her feelings into words. What is she trying to say? We can tell she is thinking hard. It’s tough to know whether to supply a word for her but we give it a shot. “Do you feel cozy? Comfortable? Safe?” Mom asks. “Maybe like your special blankie?” Tabitha doesn’t answer but she goes over to snuggle with Dad. Message received! “My turn!” screams Samantha. She burrows in between Tabitha and Dad. Samantha starts to cry. Sound familiar? We were going for words in this exercise but non-verbal communication works too. They both love Dad! Fortunately he has plenty of room for each of his daughters.
Now it’s Dad’s feedback for Dad. Hmmm!! Right now the positive comments are sending Dad Over the Moon. He doesn’t always feel appreciated. But at the moment he has a glimpse of how important he is in the lives of his wife and his children. Sure, Mom thinks he’s a little crazy but she revels in the fun he has with the children. He wasn’t sure Zak even noticed the talks they have been having but it turns out he does! It means so much to hear that something we are doing as a parent is even recognized—especially by the kids! And hugging his two beautiful little daughters is the best feeling—now and forever!
SO what can he say? This is some precious communication. Just like baby Samantha Dad doesn’t know what to say. It happens to grown-ups too. He has a beautiful voice. So he sings them a verse from Pippin’s My Little Corner of the Sky:
Every man has his daydreams
Every man has his goal
People like the way dreams have
Of sticking to the soul
Thunderclouds have their lightning
Nightingales have their song
And don’t you see I want my life to be
Something more than long….
Rivers belong where they can ramble
Eagles belong where they can fly
I’ve got to be where my spirit can run free
Got to find my corner of the sky