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Daddy Language


Fathers are a misunderstood bunch. Just look at family comedies on TV – normally you would have the responsible, professional, working housewife trying to juggle her responsibilities between work and home and then you have the irresponsible, fun loving, TV-watching, chore-avoiding DAD. This is true in many comedies – King of Queens, Everybody loves Raymond, Cosby Show, Home Improvement, and the list could go on. Sadly, the misunderstanding is not just limited to TV shows. Someone commented that on Mother’s Day we celebrate our mothers and on Father’s Day we tell our fathers to shape up and do a better job….not today…not this weekend.

We would like to celebrate fatherhood. I would like to say that fathers do have a unique way of communicating, a certain Daddy language. It was only as I became a father that I understood many of my Dad’s expressions. I guess you have to know a father’s heart before you can understand a father’s thoughts and actions. I realized that behind the toughness and roughness of a father is always a gentle and protective heart.

The criticism fathers have gotten over the years can be explained by the enormous impact and responsibility connected with being a father. Of course everyone else comes short when the ultimate measurement and standard is God Himself, “Our Father”. No doubt fatherhood carries with it great a responsibility, it is something that God has endowed upon a father. The Lord God put the man in the Garden of Eden to take care of it and to look after it. (Genesis 2:15 CEV)

A father is built and wired for being a protector, a problem-solver, a provider. Many of the Dad’s acts therefore, while we may perceive them to be negative, are actually a reflection of a father’s heart to be a protector, a problem solver and a provider. Here are some examples:

What Dad said….. What Dad meant….

Umuwi ka ng maaga (Go home early) I want you home safe

(After a quarrel) Kumain ka na ba? (Have you eaten?) I’m sorry if I yelled at you

Bakit mababa grades mo? (Why are your grades low?)I want you to have a better life that what I had

Bakit ngayon ka lang? (Why did you go home late?) I was worried about you

Puro kayo gala! (Why can’t you stay home) I want us to spend time together

You may call it being strict; Dad is simply being protective. You call it being thrifty; Dad calls it preparing for the future. You may call it being angry; Dad knows no other way to show concern.

If you are part of my generation, chances are your father didn’t say the words “I love you” very often. It was only after I became a father that I realized, in his own way, and with very different words, he was actually saying, “I love you” to me, each and every single day….

To all my fellow fathers out there, Happy Father’s Day!

(This is an article I wrote a few years ago for Father's Day. I thought of sharing it on my blog to celebrate the father's our there.)

#fatherhood #fathersday #family #familyliving #communication

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