3 min read

Don't fix your children. See and hear them.

Try this tactic the next time your wife and children get upset
Don't fix your children. See and hear them.

When your wife and children get upset, frustrated, or have a problem, the last thing you need to do as a man is to try to step in and fix their problems.

When you get upset as a man, husband, or father, you usually need space to process what's going on. You need time to talk to a loved one to get clarity on the situation.

Your family is no different.

Men are natural fixers. It's part of our DNA and makeup. There's nothing wrong with this desire in you to protect your family. Please do not read this post and feel shame about your ability to fix and protect.

This is a superpower you can enable at any time. But most of your family's problems don't require you to turn into Superman.

They require you to be Clark Kent.

Clark Kent was calm, assured, and present.

Human beings want to find their superpower so that they can fix their problems. It's a crucial component of experiencing a meaningful life.

Your children are human beings.

So when we try to step in and "fix" our family's situation, we aren't giving them the space and grace they require to solve their problems. We aren't giving them the reps they need to build their strength. We aren't giving them the freedom to become the hero of their lives.

To make matters worse, if we are emotionally unavailable, we may even come across as angry when our children make a mistake, fall, fail or stumble. We unintentionally throw salt in their wounds. And if we're honest with ourselves, we're not angry: we're afraid.

We feel like our child is out of control because we feel like we're out of control. We're afraid because our father didn't model a healthy emotional life and we don't know how to do it either. And when men feel afraid, we do one thing:

We tighten our grip. And when we tighten our grip, we snuff out the freedom our children need to grow into the men or women they were meant to be.

This is why it's so important to develop self-awareness and become emotionally available as a man and father.

You need to create space between yourself and your emotions. You need to see your emotions as cars that drive in and out of your life. You need to get feedback on how you come across from those you trust.

Again, I ask you to recall the last time you were angry or upset. What if your best friend tried to fix your problem, got pissed off at you for having an issue, and then tried to control how you responded by asking you not to respond at all?


You wouldn't be best friends for too long.

Imagine how this feels to your child. When we don't give them space to feel, process, and put together a plan, they receive the message: I don't trust you, and I'm angry with you.

You are a steward in your child's life. You aren't the controller of it.

The next time your child expresses a feeling, try to be aware of your response. Trust yourself and your child to experience emotions, big and small. Tell yourself that humans can't control emotions. We can only experience them. Tell yourself that feeling emotion and taking the proper actions can be done at the same time.

When you begin to react this way, you will feel relaxed and calm. You will start to trust more and feel less anxiety. And you'll be freed up to give your child the one thing they need at that moment:

To be seen and heard.