Happy Valentine’s Day to My Son!

I went card shopping for Valentine’s Day last night. I found a beautiful card for my Sweetie, who I have loved for more than 20 years. I found a beautiful card for my Sweetie Girl, who I have loved for over 10 years. But you know what I found out?

They don’t really make loving cards for boys.

I am lucky enough to have a Sweetie Girl and a Sweetie Boy (they are twins). I love them both very much, but also very differently. My son is so much like me in so many ways. He is sweet, intelligent, incredibly sensitive to other people and very perceptive. He is utterly unafraid of affection and I don’t think he even knows there is an issue for many men about hugging and kissing. We hug every morning before I go to work and when I get home and when he goes to bed and any other time we can squeeze a hug and kiss in. We are not shy in my family about showing our love. In fact, if you come over, be prepared. We love and are pretty out in the open about it.

The card for my Sweetie Girl includes an emphasis on no matter what she does or how I feel or what my day is like, I love her no matter what. Sure, it had pink and purple and maybe even some flowers, but frankly, she won’t care that much about that. She needs reminders that our love for her is always present, no matter what she does or how angry we get with her.

Is it not cool to say that to a son?

Truth be told, I don’t think he worries about the unconditionality of our love the way she does (she got that from me), but I would’ve loved to give him a card that said something very similar (without the words “To My Daughter” on it). But all I could find were funny cards, joking about love and cards with superheroes on them.

I spend a lot of time in the world of fatherhood, with people who believe like I do, that fathers are extremely important to their children and that all dads have so much to offer their children just by being present. I try to help moms and dads make sure dads can be involved and get comfortable enough to be involved. I read dozens of articles about parenting and fatherhood every week.

Last night reminded me we still have a long way to go. The fact that we still think as a culture that it is not acceptable to show love and affection to our sons the way we can with our daughters means more boys will grow into men uncomfortable with giving and receiving love and affection.

But not my boy. I love my boy and he loves me and I hope the whole world knows.

More Time for Dads to Get Involved

According to a recent poll, Moms report that they are still doing more parenting than Dads. In fact, Moms report they spend 3 more hours a day parenting than Dads do.

That’s a lot of time.

And a great opportunity for Dads to be more involved.

No matter the reason, this is a chance for Dads to get more involved in the lives of their children and a chance for Moms to get much needed down time so they can take care of themselves.

Two quick tips to help Dads be more involved:

  1. Can you take your kids to school one day a week? Yes, schedules are challenging, but if you can get them ready in the morning and take them to school once a week, you will find yourself sharing some very special moments with your kids. Special moments are golden.
  2. Can you put them to bed several times a week? Particularly if you have to be at work earlier in the morning, putting your kids to bed is a great way to spend time with your kids. You can help them get ready, read to them and then tuck them in. Not only is this another opportunity for special time together, it will give your partner time for herself to relax and unwind.

There are certainly other ways to be more involved, but starting with taking them to school and putting them to bed will make a huge difference for your entire family.