My father, who died in 2001, was not a perfect husband or father. But a) he never pretended to be; and b) who is?—certainly not me.
But was a great husband and a great father.
There was a sign that hung above my father’s desk while I was growing up. It simply said:
Children need models, not critics.
That was my father’s philosophy. To model – to set an example, to use one’s energy trying to walk the walk yourself – rather than to criticize the failures and faults of others.
I want you to imagine, if you will, a child working in the back yard, helping his father build a storage shed, or as we called it, a “mini-barn.”
The child is doing it wrong: cutting the wood the wrong length; using the tools incorrectly and even dangerously…taking too long to do the work.
The father knows the child is doing it wrong.
And the father has several ways to respond.