228 – Leading as Fathers Who Love Sons

I write not about biological, 24/7 fathers. Parenting around the clock is an experience to itself. I write about love, respect, and care for any younger generation.

Older and younger generations feel a tension. The older we get, the more we become who we are at our core. Some become better, many become worse. There is more to leading than grumbling about youth doing things that youth do. There’s more to growing up than spiting one’s own behavior merely for being young.

People in younger generations need space. Sometimes it makes no sense, but it is necessary. Resistance comes from younger people softly, but it must be heeded. Even when a young person misunderstands the older, he must figure out basic rules of concluding and communication on his own. There’s enough advice in this world to know not to hold a grudge about an unconfirmed offense. If a lad or lass needs to wander off and fret about a big nothing, just let it be.

There are steps that can be taken to approach and invite friendships, just tread softly and happily and don’t impose yourself. Drip ideas, lay down the law if it is your place, but check your condescending tone at the door. Youth under punishment rarely want an explanation, but one or two good sentences will give them enough to chew on to make it educational. When they come slinking back, don’t push them away.

And, for Heaven’s sake, don’t hold a grudge against someone younger than you. Grow up and at least pretend to be an adult. Adults don’t quibble with children.

Care, concern, value, respect—whether you harbor these virtues toward the younger generation, your true colors will show when you face each other’s differences. Elders have wisdom, youth have innovation and energy. God put us together and He wasn’t a fool in doing so; the old man complaining about the youth is the fool because he implies his own failed leadership.

Provide, govern softly, lay infrastructure, encourage, drip nuggets of teaching that help interpret the moment, and give space when quietly signaled to. Be the one initiate patient understanding. Maintain love and give respect to everyone younger than you.