Thoughts on Fatherhood

normal_Schwendau_785In some Google searches on Gredler I found that there is a Cafe Gredler with scrumptious looking deserts in a small Austrian town not far from where my great grandfather came from. Next I found that there is a Gredler street in Vienna. Then last week it turned out that the person who has written some of the software I am looking at for scanning books is living in Vienna. He shared a search in a Vienna street directory which states that Gredler street was named for one Andreas Freiherr von Gredler who apparently was a doctor and lived from 1801 to 1870. I’ll have to do a little more research on what kind of doctor and why he had a street named for him in Vienna. The picture above is of Andreas Freiherr von Gredler.

Neither my father or myself will have a street named for us, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t or haven’t passed important characteristics to our children. Last year I read a great book, What Every Man Wished His Father Had Told Him, by Byron Forrest Yawn. While talking about the importance of affection, he discusses detached and distant fathers. Having done a personal inventory, I can see where some of the characteristics of my father in this area led to my similar treatment of my kids, especially in the area of tending to be a workaholic. Yawn says,

Husbands and fathers who are emotionally unavailable put those under their care at an enormous disadvantage. This is inevitable. If the individual responsible for providing guidance remains silent, it can only result in frustration for those who depend on him. When a dad doesn’t express matters of approval or disapproval, encouragement or disappointment, his children may wander in confusion. This is the very reason many daughters who did not receive any attention from their fathers make messes of their lives seeking it from other men later in life.

Yawn also notes that the sons of fathers who took the time to express their feelings end up being more confident. I would think that perhaps the fathers who do not express their feelings to their children are lacking in their own self confidence. This characteristic is then carried on by the children. The bottom line is that children need to know that they are loved by their father. Although actions, and time, speak louder than words, a son needs to hear the words “I love you” from his father. But it’s also true that it’s never too late, as long as you’re still breathing.

So what kind of legacy do I want to leave to my children? What is more important than a street name that might prompt future generations to ponder why? I want my children, and my parents, to know that I love them and appreciate them. I want them all to know some of the good memories I have and we can share together. Most of all, I want my children to have good relationships with their children, be emotionally available to them, give them both positive and negative feedback, and let them know that they love them. What about you? What do you want to give your children? What do you want for your children? It’s never too late.

About Mark Gredler

I want to move from Good Love to Better Love, share it, and share the Best Love of God. I like ancient and medieval history, especially of Spain. I like photographing Spanish fiestas, and visiting Romanesque churches, from the 11th to 13th centuries. I enjoy traveling, seeing new places, meeting new friends, taking photographs of that, and want to write more about it all.
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