Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.
Do’s and Dont’s…come on let’s do it right!!
In dad’s corner, exists some unconditional love and affection. This is pretty much the starting point because there is where God begins with us: he loves us no matter what we have done – no matter how badly we screw up things. Children have a deep desire to hear from their dad that he loves them – to know this in their heart of hearts. Lack of unconditional parental love is the major cause of low self image for teenagers and low self image is the common root of every tragic teen problem.
Close relationship is the key for any father to build that bond with their kids. This way, a dad can make an effort to help keep your kids out of trouble by providing them unconditional love and spending time with them. Constant and creative communication happens with great dad. Sending some love notes to kids, expressing your love for them and just showing them you are thinking about them does wonders . Ask them frequently about what they are doing, how they are doing, what their interests are, who their friends are, makes them feel you are concerned. Showing interest in their world makes them open their world to you.
Great dads share a great deal about themselves to their kids. Share what’s on you heart, lessons you have learned from mistakes ofthe past, your dreams for the future. Holding family meetings, could be on the weekend just when everyone could get together and pray together followed by a nice dinner is a wonderful idea to strengthen the bond.
Partnering with mom does the trick. Follow your instincts. If married, stay married because that is what God wants and that is exactly what children want. If you are divorced or separated, partner with your former spouse – always set aside your personal differences to keep the well being of the children first and
foremost. Always view marriage as a three way partnership: picture you and your wife at each corner of the base of a triangle and God at the top. Now as you and your wife draw closer to God, he will be drawing the two of you closer together.
Instill moral and spiritual values in your kids. They need solid values to live by and they desire to have them as a guide.These values act like a guiding step for each and every deed. They check on these each time they take a new step or make a decision. A major challenge as dads is that a child learns every bit of what the father does, be it right or wrong. Any father needs to think twice before any action he takes, because he can be rest assured that every action will be mimicked at some point or the other. As a good dad, one should be concerned about their development in each area. Beware of building an intellectual mansion on spiritual quicksand. Child can go to the best school but when the first real crisis hits, he come crashing down because of weak spiritual
foundation. This it becomes important to commit personally to instill moral and spiritual values into your child. Praying really helps and praying with your kids is even better. Learn to forgive and forget.
Establishing your fathering legacy is another major aspect. You can make a really positive difference in this world through the positive fathering legacy you can leave. This will seriously impact the lives of not only your children, but your grandchildren and down through the generations as they reflect the values you have left them through your legacy. Children say they want four basic things in a fathering legacy: values and faith, love and affection, good communication, a lifestyle worthy of emulation. Begin establishing the legacy you want to leave now, you do not know how much time either you or your child has on this earth.
Only two things are eternal: the Word of God and people, so invest in your children. You will be well rewarded when someday you look into the eyes of your Savior and hear him say, “Well done good and faithful servant. I call many people to different tasks, but I called you to be a father and gave you these children and you raised them wonderfully.”. Write down the fathering legacy you want to leave right now and then live it. With all that you have for the rest of your fathering journey.
All this and more exists in daddy’s corner. The list is never ending. Goes on and on with a lot of strength and courage to be by their kids’ side as and when need be. Hope some of us could benefit from what’s in here to be a great dad!! Although the truth of the matter that we all react to different situations differently.
Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.