Came across this article today in a Dutch newspaper “De Pers”. The title is already disturbing “Fatherhood you learn on the sport’s field”, but the conclusion is even more disturbing, and that is that sport is the savior for the relationship between the father and his child, because “if there were no sports, the majority of fathers and children would probably never talk to each other”. There are some more disturbing statements in there, I will let you read the article to be the judge of that.
What a sad story, and what a sad truth! And the question needs to be raised who’s to blame? Is it the influence of sports (read: 24/7 sports entertainment at your disposal, via television and internet) on present day society? Is it because the definition of fatherhood is changing, due to cultural developments? Is it because there are different demands from children on their parents?
I don’t think so. I find it really disturbing that fathers need anything else but there unconditional love for their child for actually having a relationship with them. I find it disturbing that by using something (or especially) like sports, which in general does not bring out the best qualities in men, be the main thing that children (and especially boys) see there father, since there is an inherent desire in children (and especially boys) to be like their father, and so boys think it’s ok to scream and curse and be violent (yes, I am generalizing here), and then parents are surprised that their children are rebellious.
What is the solution to the problem? Many things probably, but the main thing is that the father from the birth of each of his children needs to be consistently and consciously involved in being a relationship with each individual child, and not wait until they hit puberty to start with this and then bring them to a soccer game (in which there is very little interaction and relationship built, as you are both watching the game) and try to make up for lost time. NO! Fathers are there to love, and instruct and admonish and encourage and discipline their children, always, from the very start.
A great little book to read on the topic of fathers is “Pastor Dad” by Mark Driscoll, which can be freely read online here.