Husbands and Fathers

This is an article I came across recently that was fairly thought provoking to me. As a therapist, I’ve learned how to roll with the choices people make even if I may not personally choose to make those exact choices myself. No judgement. However, one thing I have not personally grown mature enough to understand (and maybe I’ll never be) the decisions that some people make when choosing the person they make a baby with and not make a judgment on their mental capacity. That being said, working at a job where I interact with children who have been abused has convinced me without a doubt that there are some people who should never ever ever be parents. I am of the opinion that some men make great fathers and other men make great husbands and that sometimes these two things do not go together. Don’t get me wrong, I think that there are some characteristics that both fathers and husbands should have that overlap with each other. But I think that the roles of a husband and that of an engaged, aware, and mature parent are different. The article is a little on the humorous side but it does make you think about the difference between a spouse and a parent. While selfishness in a marriage can cause problems, a selfish parent can negatively impact the life of the next generation. Communication between adults is different than communication with children. It’s not healthy to be enmeshed with a child in the same manner you are with a spouse. Totally different ballgame. Raising a child successfully without messing them up for life requires a different set of skills than having a relationship with another mature adult. ┬áIt’s nice to have a great husband and it’s wonderful if a man is a good father, but it’s even better when a guy can be both at the same time.

MSW/ MBA

This article was super interesting to me. As someone who has an MSW and also knows a lot of people who have MBA’s it struck me as odd that we are just now connecting these two degrees. Personally, I think that the intersection of social work and business would produce more well rounded professionals with better people skills and a better understanding of personality theories. I’ve read other articles that have stated that getting an MBA is becoming so popular that it’s weight has often been disregarded. The truth of the matter is that many business people could use social work skills just like social workers could use more business skills. From my perspective, I think that learning how to start and run a non-profit and having the necessary tools to help it to succeed would be a good thing for social workers. Being in a profession that is thankless and where you rarely actually make the salary that you’re worth, an additional degree could give the needed edge to reach a higher socioeconomic status. As someone who appreciates education that is practical and gives one the skills necessary to succeed in their chosen field, I think that the MSW-MBA degree will become quite popular because it’s the best of both worlds. The combination of the skills sets in these disciplines will be something that will be highly coveted in coming years.

Can you listen?

Listening seems to be a skill that has lost value over the past few years. While people hear, they very rarely take the time to listen. I remember experiencing this as a younger child of three. My grandparents were in town and I was riding with them. Consequently, they got turned around and I as the non-directionally challenged three year old proceeded to tell them how to get to our destination. For some odd reason, my grandparents decided that the word of a three year old wasn’t valid so they proceeded to ignore my directions and ask people around them. Finally after about an hour of driving they decided to give my directions a try and they ended up right where we needed to be. I say all this to say that listening is a lot harder than merely hearing. Listening involves putting your own agenda to the side and devoting your attention and focus to the words of the other individual. It means that you aren’t day dreaming about vacation or your grocery shopping list while they are talking. Listening gives you insights you wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. It challenges you to think differently and to develop empathy and understanding of the other person’s viewpoint or perspective. I’ve listening to many a person and heard what they were trying to say but weren’t really saying. Complaining about a spouse’s job or time spent with their friends sometimes meant, “I’m feeling neglected and want you to invest some of your time and energy in me.” Yet, their message wasn’t getting through because their spouse wasn’t really listening to what they were trying to say. Being deliberate in taking the time to really listen will make a difference. Guaranteed.