by James B. Stenson (Book review)
2. Successful fathers think long-term about their children's future character as grown-up men and women. They think of inner strengths, not career choices. They ask the same character-centered questions that parents have always pondered (the same questions we saw earlier), and then ask themselves: "What do my wife and I have to do now to raise our children toward responsible adulthood?" In other words, they see themselves raising adults, not children.
3. As a consequence of this vision, they frequently talk with their wives about the children's character strengths and weaknesses. Such men are conscious that their wives are probably more sensitive and insightful in these areas, and they respect their judgment. Though they may have disagreements with their wives on tactical matters, they are determined to come to some agreement; they realize how important it is for the children to see the parents united, especially in matters of discipline. Furthermore, though the parents may argue in front of the children, both are careful never to have a heated quarrel. There's much to be said for the children's seeing parental disagreements resolved amicably through compromise. But quarrels are a threat to family unit.
4. These fathers frequently discuss things with their children. Conversation is the most common leisure activity at home. Fathers talk about their own childhood and family life, their job responsibilities, their courtship of Mom, their worries and concerns, their past mistakes and hilarious blunders, their relations with people whom they admire, their opinions and convictions, and so on through the range of their mind. They talk about grandparents, forebears and family honor. This does not mean that they bore their children or impose their viewpoints; sometimes the children (especially in early adolescence) don't want to talk at all. But they're patient and wait for an opening. As a result of this conversation, the children come to know their father's mind inside out. Over time, they come to respect his experience and judgment.
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