Do you remember the nursery rhyme from when you were a kid about three blind mice? I haven’t actually thought about it in years or heard anyone cite it either.
But as I’m looking at it today, I thought you might enjoy reminiscing with me:
Three blind mice, three blind mice
See how they run, see how they run
They all ran after the farmer’s wife
She cut off their tails with a carving knife
Did you ever see such a sight in your life as three blind mice?
Crazy story to share with kids, right?
I don’t have any profound insight as to why this rhyme is of any value to us or our children, but my one take away is this: Blind spots lead to catastrophic outcomes.
3 Blind Spots Every Dad Must Watch
It’s the same with fathering your kids. Blind spots are those areas where we miss or don’t see things, often because they’re in our peripheral vision. Yet when something is legitimately there and needs our immediate attention, it’s wise to turn our heads and respond appropriately. With that in mind, here are three specific things that might be in your blind spot when it comes to interacting with your kids. My hope is that after reading, you’ll see things more clearly because now they’ll be directly in your line of sight.
Blind Spot #1: Expecting things of your kid that you don’t practice yourself.
As a dad you want your kid to have positive responses. You want him to respond with immediate obedience without a bad attitude or intense negativity. You want her to respect others (especially mom/siblings), honor God, and be a contributing member of your family and society.
Those are great goals, but it’s vital that you start with yourself. Begin by considering whether you’re setting an example in these areas so what you’re expecting and requiring of her is modeled by you. After all, more is caught than taught.
Blind Spot #2: Thinking that what you do behind closed doors doesn’t matter if your kid doesn’t know about it.
We’ve all heard the quote, “Your sins will find you out.” When it comes to integrity, it’s about what we do when no one is looking. In your personal life—your thoughts, morals, values, choices, relationships with the opposite sex, expenditures, financial dealings, etc—it’s important that there is congruence between the life your kids see publicly and the person you are behind closed doors.
Let me get a little more personal and specific. If you engage in looking at pornography, you’re contributing to an industry that objectifies and uses women for self-gratification. If you want your kids to live with confident strength where they expect to be treated with value and respect, especially by men, be mindful that what you bring with you is being passed on to them.
Blind Spot #3: Assuming that your anger has no effect in shaping your kids.
You’ve heard me say this many times and it bears repeating: Your anger will have the most negative impact on your kid’s heart and spirit than almost anything else.
Your anger will cause your kid to fear you and experience you as unsafe. Your anger will decrease your kid’s self-esteem, cause your kid to be tentative and less confident, destroy the spirit, and be less assertive in the world. Additionally, your kids will project these realities onto God as a Father and assume He’s an angry guy in the sky. Anger from a dad to his kid is always more intense than you may think it is. Though anger is a God-given emotion and there’s a place for it at times, you must use it rarely.
Portions of this post originally appeared on the blog of Dr. Michelle Watson Canfield.