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Father’s Day Part VI: Speak to Their Language & Interests

by Jessica Parnell | Jun 18, 2016 | 3 min read

Can you believe it’s Father’s Day tomorrow? It is hard to believe how quickly the year has flown by, but I am so thankful for the many dads who are developing family bonds and creating lasting memories with each child. And, I hope that each of these Father’s Day blogs have been an inspiration, giving you more ideas for capturing each moment with your family.  

If you are reading in the middle of the series, I challenge you to go back and take a look at each Father’s story starting with day 1: Father’s Day Part I- Reflections. But, if you are ready for today’s words of wisdom, read on!

Speak to Their Language and Interests

Meet Tyson. Tyson takes a very personal approach to fatherhood. For him, creating memories means connecting with his five daughters in the language that most relates to them.

That communication begins with how to best communicate love to each of his five daughters. He relies on Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Language quiz for kids to identify how to best meet their need for love. Because “Knowing how they love and understand love helps him to love them in the way that means the most to them.”

Armed with that knowledge and the knowledge of what they love to do, he plans a monthly Daddy/Daughter date.  

His goal? Communication.  

A kid whose love language is “gift giving” might find herself out shopping at a special place with her dad.
For the one who loves the outdoors and whose love language is “quality time”, he plans a hike, bike ride or trip to the park.  Or he will find himself taking a drive just for the sake of talking. 

For Tyson and his girls, Daddy/Daughter dates are not about spending money.

They are an opportunity to “open the doors to conversation” by finding an activity that speaks to their interests. When we do something that our kids love to do, the walls come down and they are a bit more vulnerable and willing to answer questions and discuss the things that matter as they grow up.  

And what is great is that I am seeing the older girls become less selfish about what we do on our dates. They now tend to suggest things that they know I would like better. They are learning to put others first.

Tyson’s Words of Wisdom:

  1. Go to every game and every practice that you can. 
  2. Ask a lot of questions. And, do your best to stick to open-ended questions that get conversations started. When you ask a yes/no question, you end the conversation before it starts. 
  3. Set the same set of rules for everyone in the house. It’s important to have the same rules for each child, but be ready to present those rules in a way that speaks each child’s language. As a Dad, we are responsible for teaching and training our kids. A great teacher adjusts the lesson plan to the student. Therefore, how I present those rules is different for every kid. For example, I may have one child who questions something because she is curious and wants to understand it. So I take the time to explain it. However, another child might be questioning as a way of delaying the obedience. In this case, my presentation might be a bit different.

Thank you to all the Father’s who shared their words of wisdom with us this season. And thank you to all of you who are taking the time to read and implement these ideas. Father’s are such a blessing, and we wish you the very best Father’s Day this year.

Jessica Parnell
Hello everyone! I’m Jessica Parnell — mom, homeschool evaluator, teacher, and CEO of Bridgeway Academy. In my 20+ years of experience as a homeschool mom and evaluator, I have had the privilege of meeting homeschoolers that take a variety of approaches to their education. It is their many stories and successes that inspire me in my own homeschooling and I love to pass on the knowledge that I have gained from them to other homeschooling families. The one constant that always remains true is that there’s no such thing as a “cookie cutter child.” Each child is fearfully and wonderfully made and as a result, learns and functions differently. It’s our job to ensure that we’re raising each child to fulfill their individual purpose and when we can teach in a way that inspires them, we are on our way to homeschool success. When I’m not writing or teaching my children, I like to ski, write and participate in triathlons. I graduated from Kutztown University with a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Masters in English and I am currently pursuing a degree in Neuroleadership.
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