If you haven’t seen it yet, you have to check out this viral video taken by a teenage boy in the U.K.
To set the scene, the boy, Aria, is about to show his father his report card…
Now that’s one proud and excited dad! Maybe the best part is the look in Aria’s face through the whole thing. That’s one affirmed young man!
To give you more of the story, Aria had been failing “maths,” and he needed at least a C to be able to get through the class and move on with pursuing some of his other goals and dreams—which are not math-related. Here’s a feature and interview with more details.
The video is getting so much attention because the dad is a bit over-the-top with joy, but I’m moved and challenged by it. Mr. Shahrokhshahi is clearly an emotional guy, but if he can get that excited when his son achieves something that’s “satisfactory,” can’t I also find reasons to celebrate and affirm my son for the things he accomplishes?
Do you express pride in your kids?
I’ll never forget the time my dad was visiting our family, not long before he died. One day he rode along to see where I worked. We went into my office, and the building where I worked at the time overlooked the baseball stadium. It was an amazing view.
Dad sat down in my chair and swung around and looked out the window to take it in. He glanced at me, and quietly looked out the window. I could tell he was soaking it all in and was moved by what he saw. Then finally he said, “You know, I am proud of you, Son.”
Not quite the reaction that Aria received, but that isn’t who my Pop was. Still, I’ll never forget that moment. And I’m blessed, because Pop said those words to me many times in different ways through the years.
But I also know many men have never heard those kinds of words from their fathers. If that describes you, you probably have no idea how your father’s pride looks, sounds, or feels. And then showing pride or celebrating your own children feels totally foreign.
It seems to come easily for Aria’s dad, and every can’t be like that. But please remember that all children—at any age—need that blessing and affirmation from their dads. They long to hear that they are respected and appreciated. Something isn’t quite complete without it. As Aria said in Today Show interview, that interaction with his father was “a very important moment” in his life.
Don’t fake it here. If you’re insincere as you gush over your kids, they’ll know something isn’t quite right. But please find appropriate ways to celebrate your children for who they are and what they are doing in life.
And let me add one more brief caution: so many people today are all about getting into the spotlight and seeking glory for themselves. And kids are picking up on that; many of them could use a dose of humility. There’s a balance we have to find as dads: praising our kids and finding ways to celebrate their successes, while also coaching them to stay humble and work hard for what they achieve.
What memories do you have of your dad showing pride in you? Or what reasons can you think of right now to celebrate and show pride in your child? Please share with us and other dads either below or on our Facebook page.
Action Points for Dads on the Fathering Journey
- Look at your son or daughter squarely in the eye and say, “I am proud of you.” Or, “It’s a privilege just to be your dad.”
- Start tuning in more to when your child is making some extra effort or finding a measure of success in something new they’re attempting—and go just a little overboard with positive encouragement.
- If you can, be specific with your praise. You might say, “I saw how you helped that other boy, and I’m really proud of you.”
- How do you handle report cards with your kids? Even if they have some areas to improve, make sure you also point out the good grades they’re getting and praise them for that.
- Even while celebrating your children, keep them grounded in the real world. Whenever I did something noteworthy, my Pop would be like, “I’m proud of you, Son…. Don’t forget it’s your turn to take out the trash when you get home.”
Carey Casey is the CEO of the National Center for Fathering, a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the culture of fathering in America by enlisting 6.5 million fathers who to make the Championship Fathering Commitment. NCF believes that every child needs a dad they can count on, and uses its resources to inspire and equip men to be the involved fathers, grandfathers and father figures their children need. Subscribe to his weekly email tip by clicking here: “Yes! I want tips on how to be a great dad who lives out loving, coaching and modeling for my children.