Parenting From Wall Street to Sesame Street

In our fast pace culture, it is common for parents to feel a very limited connection to
their children. With workplace commitments, community involvement activities, and
even responsibilities at places of worship, many parents and children sense that their
relationship is often strained for time and lacks depth.

And so the story goes for dads--one day we realize that while we have gained the
accolades of success from our employer, the community, and even our place of worship,
the reality is not the same at home. No amount of success outside the home can
compensate for failure in the home. Many dads are really trying to juggle it all and make
it all happen; however, this requires support and tools.

Here are a few tips to help you stay connected to your children and maintain your
responsibilities in a busy and fast paced world:

  • Send text messages to your children often throughout the day to let them know
    that you are thinking about them
  • Send pictures (via text cell phone, email, or postcard) of your travel location to
    your child(ren) when you are on a business trips
  • Plant surprise notes under the pillow(s) of your child(ren)
  • Initiate a special weekly or monthly family time where each child alternates in
    deciding the activity and meal for the designated time period
  • On occasion, initiate spontaneous family time events such as going out for
    pancakes on a school night or an early weekend morning
  • Place special notes in your child's lunch box or container when and where
  • Place a special note in your child's locker at school when and where possible
  • Draw a special picture for your child(ren) regardless of your talent (It's your love
    and effort that matters and not your talent)
  • Make birthdays very special with the entire day being devoted to the birthday
    child and go through great effort to plan this day as a family
  • Look for ways to improve your parenting knowledge and skills. You can visit
    National Fatherhood Initiative's on-line resource center at
    to find great skill-building tools for dads

Our time to directly impact the lives of our children is limited. The eighteen years go by
so quickly. As we live in this world of technological upgrade, let's make a decision to
upgrade our relationship with our children. Success on Wall Street and Sesame Street are
possible if we just assess our priorities and make every moment at home count.

Ron Clark is a national conference speaker, consultant, writer on manhood and fatherhood issues. He is cited in numerous fatherhood and family services articles and research reports. For more information, please forward your emails to or call (757) 344-5685. You may also visit his website at

Stronger Men - Stronger Families