Just for Dads ~ January 2020

by Ward Williams

If you were at the Auburn vs. Samford game on November 23, you were part of a very small crowd. It was a 52-0 blowout by Auburn, but a game I will never forget. My 16-year-old red-haired middle child son scored us some free tickets to the game, and he was determined that we all go. The game was played in a November monsoon with very limited visibility, but I am so glad we were there. My son connects to us by spending time and going to events.

As we start a new year, it is a good time to take stock of your relationships and to see how strong your connections are. Businesses fail, relationships end, Presidential candidates drop out, feelings are hurt, coaches are fired, and negative consequences happen when there is a lack of connection. Building a strong connection seems vitally important, but I bet I would not get a consensus definition of connection if I asked each one of you. In fact, if you search for the definition of connection you might come away thoroughly confused. It is often confusion or lack of clarity that leads to a lack of connection. 

How are you doing forming strong connections? Building and making strong connections are considered a strong protective factor for a child’s well-being. Staying connected to your spouse is critical to the quality of that relationship. Some advantages for children who find strong attachment are the ability to make and keep friends, they trust others, enjoy being around other people, and trust adults. Find the way your kids connect. There are books on connecting and on love languages of kids. There is a very good chance your kids connect in different ways than you or your spouse did, but there are ways that kids connect that have not changed over time. Most kids still like to play games, use their imagination, play with water, ride bikes, play sports. It might surprise you that they like board games, card games, camping, or just throwing a ball.

Here’s to a new year full of strong(er) connections.

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


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