A Father’s View

So Dynamite Dad, Matt, had some words to share. He was trying to write it for a Father’s Day post but it was difficult for him to put into words what he wanted to share. He struggled and pressed forward and got his message out.


Being a Father is vastly different from watching it. Each child is unique whether special needs or not. However, they all need something from us besides love. Structure. That is what we are there to provide. We are to lay the groundwork that our children are going to build their lives on. Just like our fathers did for us and our grandfathers did for them ect.

Sometimes it’s going to feel like we are failing and the foundations we are trying to lay are just going to fall apart. But we have to persevere. Perseverance is the key.

We have to be there for them. We have to be there to hold when it looks like things are falling apart. We need to push back and pull back when we want to do the opposite. Sometimes struggling to know when to do what and how much.

Parenting has never been easy but it has been worth it. I have been able to better myself as I raise my children. I have been able to be a better father, husband, man, and Christian through the hard lessons my children have taught me. That’s worth more to me than all wealth in the world.

I found for me that only one book could tell me what to do. Even then it just says, “Train up a child in the way they should go and they will not stray from it.” Discipline is such a misused word. We need to look at it more correctly.

Discipline isn’t about forcing one to obey. Rather it’s more about training one to have better control of their lives. Even minor control for those who aren’t capable of being able to have complete control due to other circumstances. Watch any sport. Without discipline they would not be successful. Any victory in sports, like personal bests, goals and scores, better teamwork, are valued in the sporting circles. The same can be said of children and discipline.

Sometimes it is about taking baby steps to help them understand the consequences of actions and helping them understand they have to step up and take ownership of things they do and believe. Learning how to stand for something. That comes back to instruction and guidance, discipline in my opinion.

With patience, love, gentle instruction and guidance (aka discipline) there is nothing a child cannot do. We cannot determine if they can or cannot do something. It’s about teaching them to reach for goals and believe that they can attain them. It’s about acknowledging that sometimes we may have to shift our focuses and goals. Baby steps.

Without a compassionate definition of discipline, we are not guiding our children. We are pushing our children. That robs them of some of the simplest opportunities. It robs us of time we could be positively bonding and influencing our children. If used in the strictest sense of the word, it has to potential to cause children to shut down, shut us out and become over “worked”. Have you ever seen over worked players on a team? They are fatigued, lost interest in the sport, and no longer enjoy it. They give up on a goal.

If we treat our children as individuals and help the reach personal goals and help them navigate life on a personal level, they have more opportunities to see how to be successful. They learn more about themselves and we learn how to be the best father (and parent) that they need us to be.

I thank God for all he has done to show a side of discipline to me that is more compassionate. My kids are better for it, and so am I.




2 thoughts on “A Father’s View

  1. Matt, your words LITERALLY brought me to tears. Thank you so very, very much. I know your sweet wife has given me permission to reblog her posts, but since this is your post, I thought I should ask you. It would be shared on mypuzzlingpiece.com, and link back to Emilie’s blog 🙂 of course.

    I love your beautiful definition of discipline. You are so deeply, incredibly right.

    Sometimes I think that disciplining a child is much harder part of parenting, than simply “loving” them. In fact, even though it’s painful, in a way we really cannot truly LOVE them if we do not provide some guidance to them. It’s particularly challenging with a child on the spectrum, but still the same, nonetheless. I think the challenge when it comes to ASD kiddos is knowing what our children understand, what motivates them to behave differently, and where to draw the line between “guiding them” and “pushing them too far.” Oh, how deeply I wish there was a clear line drawn somewhere!

    Love, love, LOVE this post. It’s beautiful, Matt! You should write more often!

    • Matt appreciates your kind words. He thanks you too. I agree he should write more often. We are hoping to do 1 a week from him. He also says, “Go ahead” with the reblogging “whatever that means”. Once I explained it to him, he grinned and said ok. Have a wonderful day!

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