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Onward, Dads!

Jim and son

With my son, Michael, last Father’s Day

Along with the United States honoring fathers this coming weekend, I celebrate and champion the gains so many dads have made in recent years! As a father of three, a psychotherapist, relationship coach and founder of Whole Man Expo, I have been a long-time, active proponent of men developing themselves to become better balanced, healthier people.

The men’s anthology, Ordinary Men, Extraordinary Lives: Defining Moments that I compiled, edited and published in 2011 opens with nine anecdotes about men struggling with, and ultimately surmounting, difficult fatherhood issues. The couples’ book that I wrote with my wife Ruth, Secrets of a Soulful Marriage, published by SkyLight Paths in 2014, emphasizes personal growth and contains chapters on life balance and parenting.

father and daughter

Photo from Flickr Creative Commons

Beyond addressing father wounds in therapy, men’s and women’s groups have proliferated to support healing and learning to be well-integrated adults. Happily, over the course of the past few decades, fathers as a whole have made great strides in breaking the all-too-common legacy of emotionally-wounded children. Today we have less physically and/or emotionally absent fathers; less machismo and harsh discipline; and dads being more involved in their children’s overall growth and activities.

father and son

Photo from Flickr Creative Commons

Now that the majority of women work, most married fathers are no longer the sole income providers, and hence have more time for other pursuits. Furthermore, various influential forces, such as media, educational and growth seminars/retreats, and spiritual groups/organizations have fostered men’s evolution. As a result, contemporary dads tend to be more attentive to their kids, to collaborate more with their partners in fulfilling household duties and still avail themselves of the opportunity to pursue their own interests and hobbies.

I certainly want to pay tribute to stay-at-home and single dads, who have a greater burden of responsibility for providing for their children on every level. Kudos to you devoted fathers for your intensified efforts in strongly contributing to your kids’ well-being!

As men in our culture are taking better overall self-care, developing their emotional capacity (“EQ”) and offering various forms of support to their mates, I’m heartened that so many fathers are now modeling a broader and healthier range of manly qualities for their kids.

Toward our evolution,
Jim Sharon

Jim SharonJim Sharon, Ed.D., a licensed psychologist in private practice, has served as a counselor for over 40 years. He attained his life coach certification in 2001 and has received additional training in spiritual direction. Since 2014, he and his wife, Ruth, have specialized in coaching committed, devoted couples to significantly enhance their relationship. Jim and Ruth were voted best relationship coaches in Colorado in 2015 and 2016. Jim has previously served as a business and agency consultant, presented at state and national psychological conferences and has appeared on many radio and TV shows. He is the author of two books and many professional articles.

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