Positive Parenting

Call on me, brother, when you need a hand…

By March 3, 20123 Comments

I don’t mean to brag, but two-and-a-half years ago, I became the newest member of an elite fraternity. Since then, I have shared a bond with a worldwide network of fraternity “brothers” – most notably, the current sitting president of the United States, as well as his predecessor! But rather than being secretive, our fraternity conducts its activities before millions of watching eyes. In fact, you probably know one of us.

Who are we? We’re all the fathers in the world who have two daughters. Call us Phi Tau Delta (Fathers of Two Daughters) for short. Membership in Phi Tau Delta can bring numerous blessings. But membership can also bring numerous challenging moments.

For example:

  • When a brother’s first daughter is born, he finds himself saying to his wife, “Which direction was I supposed to wipe her down here?” (This is followed by, “There sure are a lot of places poo can get stuck down here!” and “Honey, can you get me some more wipes, STAT?!?”)
  • When his daughter’s hair gets long enough, he realizes that nothing in life has prepared him for the simple task of making piggytails.
  • In her preschool years, she renders him completely speechless (and panicked) when she asks him to marry her.
  • He sheds a tear on the inside when she doesn’t want to hold his hand anymore.
  • In her teen years, she again renders him speechless (and more panicked) when she combines, in one sentence, the word “me” with “a guy” and “date.”
  • As his younger daughter grows older, he loses his paternal mojo when the things that worked in parenting her older sister don’t work with her.
  • In his daughters’ grown-up years, when they put their arms in his, and he escorts them down the aisle, he proudly sheds tears on the outside, wishing he had more of those challenging moments.

Okay, some of these are more challenging than the others. But all these moments can leave a Phi Tau Delta man wondering what to do or say. That’s where membership has its privileges!

Who better to give me counsel, when I’m a frustrated Father of Two Daughters, than an experienced Father of Two Daughters? I personally have sought out and received from my brethren encouragement and parenting ideas (and just as importantly, loads of hand-me-downs).

I’m not a fraternity snob, either; I also seek guidance from Phi Theta Deltas (Fathers of Three Daughters), Pi Betas (Parents of Boys), and even parents from Phi Upsilon Sigma (Families of Unusual Size), just to name a few. (My wife seeks out support, as well – through her friends and her MOPS group.)

Here’s my point – we need other parents for support and guidance. It’s not just for our own sanity; our children benefit, too. Wise parenting ideas and calmer parents make for healthier attachments in our families. Well-attached kids, in turn, tend to be more emotionally secure and better equipped to handle social pressures, including body image ones.

Having other parents to lean on, whether from a faux fraternity or from a real organization like MOPS, can help us better navigate with our kids the challenging moments of life.

(FINDINGbalance note: For dads seeking tools for parenting their daughters with intention, visit our friend Michelle Watson’s fantastic ministry at www.theabbaproject.com)

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Angie says:

    Hey Eugene!

    Well written post! I enjoyed it. Thanks for sending us the link! 🙂 Blessings to you and yours.

  • Christy says:

    Loved this post! It made me laugh, and it also made me think about my awesome relationship with my own dad. Thanks! 🙂

    • Eugene Hung says:

      Hey Christy,

      Thanks! I”m proud to say that I make a pretty good-looking ponytail. My piggytails, on the other hand, are still a work in progress, and braids are completely beyond the scope of my abilities … for now.