Chapter 12 – Communication

Joel Hodge was my 12th interview in my Wisdom from Daddies series. Joel is a father of five children (4 daughters & 1 son) as well as 2 grand-children (1 grandson and 1 grand-daughter). My wife and I know Joel & his wife Faye through Coastal Church in Downtown Vancouver. They have been very supportive in our journey from courtship, to engagement, to marriage, and now to parenting. Every year, we hold an Orphan’s Christmas Dinner for people who may have no place to go for Christmas Eve. This year was our 4th annual Turkey Dinner (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012). Traditions are started one year at a time.

Joel had some insightful suggestions for communicating with your children, especially when they become adults. Joel taught me the importance of listening and not prying. Let them share what struggles they are facing instead of asking them. They will be much more likely to open up to you. Also, Joel mentioned the importance of being a parent, rather than a friend.

As I reflect on Joel’s wisdom, I think he’s right. Normally, I tend to be more of a friend to Rianne, rather than an authority figure. I look at her as “my buddy”, “my amigo”, “my companion.” I think it’s more of my personality to be a friend rather than a disciplinary. However, kids see their parents as their first authority figures. If we are not strong authority figures, they tend to grow up avoiding or rejecting authority figures totally. Growing up an only child, getting everything I haven’t, and not having strong rules in our home has lead me to not respect authority as much as I should. With Rianne, I am learning (and continue to learn the importance of being a dad of authority).

Thanks for the great wisdom, Joel!

Here’s the original video interview taken on Christmas Eve, Dec 24, 2012.
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