Just for Dads ~ March 2021

by Ward Williams
Executive director, Vineyard Family Services

On the occasion I have a few moments of down time, I like to surf television channels. One of the shows I have found entertaining is the “Mecum Vintage Auto Auction.” The most recent episode I viewed had a couple of impactful moments that sparked some reflection. 

The first was when I realized that the 1990 Chevy Z71, the dream vehicle for many in my high school, is now considered a vintage vehicle. My headshot picture at the top of this blog is vintage at this point. I think my kids might consider me vintage in the near future. The 1957 Corvette convertible has always sold for a premium price at the Mecum Auto Auction and has always been my idea of a classy dream car. 

This past episode took place in Houston, Texas, and many vintage pickup trucks — which did not seem that extraordinary to me — were outpricing the ‘57 Corvette. That led me to my second moment of reflection: What people think has value and worth is subjective and will be completely different in different environments. It makes sense to me that pickup trucks have a higher value in Texas but might not be as valuable in other parts of the country. 

As parents, we need to realize our kids are continually being judged, compared, and assigned value in their daily lives, even if we think it is wrong to judge. The daily environment of friends, teachers, coaches, and acquaintances our kids interactive with will have an impact on how they see themselves and may impact their future success. 

All three of my children are involved in some form of arts. I have learned that the same dance, same musical performance, or the same theatrical monologue can receive drastically different scores and outcomes. An athlete at a 7A school might not make the team or earn playing time, while the same athlete in a lower division school would have an opportunity for their talent to shine. 

Here are a couple of tips to help your child develop resiliency skills:

  • Remind them know they are unconditionally loved regardless of what they do.
  • Help them become lifelong learners.
  • Encourage them to be challenged and help them overcome disappointment.
  • Remind them that God created them for a purpose and that they are fearfully and wonderfully made.
  • Give them opportunities to be in diverse, challenging, and new environments. 
  • Remember that you are loved unconditionally by a good God.

Helping our children learn how to manage their environment and allow themselves to shine can be a complicated — but worthwhile — parenting skill.

Ward Williams is the founder and executive director of Vineyard Family Services. Contact him at ward@vfsdads.com.


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