The Leader Father - Striving to have Control

PARENTING AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT

The Leader Father - Striving to have Control

This dad is energetic and hard working, and he meets his need to have control by organizing his children, their activities and education in a way that brings out the best in them. His children feel secure because of his take charge approach to everything and reassurance that their needs are addressed fairly. He will engage them in thought-provoking conversations, and listen respectfully. The Leader Dad has what it takes to manage a busy, active family, as he can juggle many tasks and get a lot done.

At His Best: This dad is energetic and hard working, and he meets his need to have control by organizing his children, their activities and education in a way that brings out the best in them. His children feel secure because of his take charge approach to everything and reassurance that their needs are addressed fairly. He will engage them in thought-provoking conversations, and listen respectfully. The Leader Dad has what it takes to manage a busy, active family, as he can juggle many tasks and get a lot done. He teaches his children the rules of life and how to play by them. He is a model of fairness and justice, and will engage his children in problem solving. His kids learn how to be good citizens and he involves them in church, community and social activities. He does what he can to create a network of friends, extended family, and community organizations to foster a sense of belonging.

Potential Pitfalls: The Leader Dad feels overly responsible for his children’s successes and failures. He struggles to let them do things their own way and can be highly critical of individuality. Older children often accuse him of “trying to run their lives.” Emotional conflict is a source of distress, and he will either avoid it or overpower his children. He believes that children should be controlled and rational, and he quickly squashes emotionality, not realizing that he is also squashing creativity and individuality. He expects his children to follow societal norms and finds it upsetting when they don’t. He often puts work before his relationships, spending long hours away without recognizing the effect this has on his kids. He struggles to live up to “superhuman” expectations he has for himself.

Tips for the Leader Father: This Dad needs to lighten up, stop doing and start being. He can be too quick to accept responsibility for everyone else’s failings, especially his children. This allows him to condone behaviors he would not normally accept. He needs to allow for unstructured time for himself and his children to be creative and use their imaginations. Too often the consequences of his style are children who are dependent on him because he has over controlled their lives. Staying in touch with his physical, mental and emotional expectations for himself and his children and examining whether they are realistic can be helpful. Above all, this dad needs to learn to accept  his human vulnerabilities and limitations so that he can enjoy his children more fully.

Father’s Day with the Leader Dad: A traditional Father’s Day is on the menu for this Dad. Breakfast in bed, a picnic at the park, and then to dinner at a family restaurant with other families. He will let everyone know what is expected so that everything is organized to the detail. He will probably have dropped hints for the last month about what he wants for gifts so nothing is left to chance. He will make sure that gifts are bought within the family budget and kids are given the opportunity and materials to make things for him. He will enjoy the day if it all goes to his plan. He will appreciate practical or useful gifts, so give him gifts that you know he can use, wear or consume. Tickets for events are often a winner with this Dad as well.

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