Coach…Counselor…now Consultant. Over the past three posts I’ve shared a few thoughts about the importance of these sub-roles of being a Dad. Remember that I have stated you don’t distinctly move into these roles but there are phases where they become critical and are inherent in that phase. Coaching is ongoing but is really important during the first 8-9 years of your child’s life. Being a Counselor will undoubtedly be required as long your children are living but it is especially critical during this next phase of your children’s development, between 8-14 years of age. Then, there’s consulting. I’m experiencing newness in this final sub-role as the consultant.
Having been in a number of business positions over the past 26 years, I’ve dealt with a lot of consultants. I’m not sure I want to emulate many of them. However, they play a pivotal role in most organizations. They are able to step into a situation and see things from the outside and give a perspective that’s sometimes hard to see for the organization embroiled in the same issues day after day. So it is with a dad during this stage of life as he speaks into the increasingly complex world of his children.
Unlike a business consultant who can step away and move onto the next job without much ongoing ownership (other than the pride of knowing something he/she did helped an organization), a Dad is not supposed to step away in that manner from his children’s lives. However, in this phase you must be invited in by your kids, much as a consultant being invited in by a company.
It’s important for a dad to be able to point out things for his children and advise them without coercing them. They are becoming adults and need to be able to make decisions of much greater magnitude down the road. They need the training on manageable issues so they can begin to feel equipped in making more critical life decisions later.
I’m working on this with my daughter and son, especially in the area of relationships. I’m pointing out things that I’ve gleaned from my past and point out things that they may not be able to see in the midst of the situation. They are free to employ my advice at some level or not. Hopefully, I’m able to correlate the right tenor to my advice with the situation at hand. In other words, “don’t sweat the small stuff” but “make the main thing the main thing”.
Being a consultant is a critical stage of the “launch” of your children into adulthood as well as helping them through the key decisions they will be making for the rest of their lives; college, career, who they’ll marry, children rearing, house buying, and how they move into issues of faith and spiritual direction.
Coach…counselor…consultant. Key roles for THE KEY role. Maybe you don’t feel adequate in some or any of these roles. That’s a GREAT place to be. I’m not. You’re probably not either. However, if you build your fathering on the foundation of Jesus Christ, He equips you to be adequate. It starts and ends there. And, everything in between is working it out with His guidance and the help of other Godly men to draw experience and wisdom. It’s a great responsibility and you can do it well under the leadership of THE Father and the help of other fathers. Whatever role you have or are in, play it well. God will be honored and your family’s legacy will be one that lasts and makes a difference for eternity—and today!
SOUND OFF: Of the three sub-roles, Coach, Counselor, Consultant, which one are you in more heavily at this stage of parenting and how are you managing to intentionally invest in your children in that way?