When children enter adolescence, they experience some pretty drastic ups and downs. So do fathers. What goes up for a dad? Food bills, auto insurance premiums, the stereo volume, and your frustration level: "All right, who used my razor to shave her legs?!" Other things go down: free access to the bathroom mirror, the one-on-one basketball games that you win, the gas gauge in the car.
Fathering young school-age kids is really an amazing time. Your child is out to see what life has to offer, to understand the world and become a citizen of that world.
The most obvious change in his routine is going to school, but that's only part of a larger process. Your child is an eager learner. Whether it's what type of sneaker is cool, why Susie is so popular, a move on the basketball court, or how to make change for a dollar, he wants to know.
As a father of an energetic, challenging pre-schooler, it may seem like your child's birth is ancient history now. But "birth" is also a metaphor for a thousand other events that occur throughout childhood. A few years ago, your child was born into the world, but now he is born into the world of speaking and toilet training and learning and relating.
Prior to joining the National Center for Fathering, I worked in various capacities with students on three college and university campuses. During that time, I noticed two common struggles that should be meaningful for all fathers of young adults: One, students of all backgrounds experienced some growth anxiety and uncertainty about their future. Second, many students did not get the support they desperately needed from their fathers.