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A Dad's Role

          March, 2017

Quote of the month  

"My father gave me the 
greatest gift anyone could 
give another person, 
he believed 
in me."

by James Valvano, American college basketball player, coach, and 

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I welcome the opportunity to help you work through current issues and to look at your future with a sense of hope and purpose.


Masters Degree - Applied Psychology from Seton Hall University


Post-Masters Degree-Marriage and Family Therapy from Seton Hall University


Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist


Private Practice 

since 2008


Married 28 years


Mother of 2 young adult daughters 


Passionate about 

what I do



One of my first newsletters from many years ago talked about being a parent and how important it is.  I wanted to circle back at this time to get more specific about the role of a father. I am not referring just to biological dads, but step-dads or dads of adopted children or simply males asked to be a role model in a young person's life.  In recent times, Dad's role has changed, for the better.  Dads are no longer just the breadwinners in the family.  Their primary role is not just to provide for that family. Research and observations of the 21st century are highlighting how vital Dads are in the lives of their children.  Research is also revealing how today's youth are suffering when they do not have a healthy male role model in their lives.  Read below some bullet points on how Dads of today can not only be great role models for their children, but they are a game-changer in some areas when it comes to their children's future.

As always, please pass along this newsletter to anyone you feel may benefit from it's content.
Maryellen Dabal, MA, LMFT
305 Miron Drive 
Southlake, TX 76092
Missed previous newsletters??
Go to www.dabalmft.com.  Click on the newsletters link at the bottom of the home page. Enjoy.....
From The Positive Perspective......

  • Dads, do you want your child to be the best version of himself/herself?  Then you need to be the best version of yourself too.  That means, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, physically, etc.   Often, if a child's Dad is not doing something (exercising, going to church), then the children will argue more with Mom about doing whatever that is.  "Why do I have to do it? Dad doesn't have to?"  Your kids are watching more than you know.
  • Dads, do you want your child to be happy with the career that they choose?  You need to be a role model in what you do with your career.  No matter what your job is, find the good in it and share it regularly with your kids.  It's not just about the money.  It's about the perception too.  Every job has ups and downs.  We tend to share the negatives much more than the positives.  Look for those positives in your jobs and share them with your kids. They will learn to look at their future jobs with a sense of positivity as well.
  • Dads, do you want your child to marry someone who respects them and loves them and supports them in their endeavors?  Then Dads need to show their spouses that same respect and love and support in front of their kids.  Your child watches how you act and stores that information much more than they store what you say.  Act in loving and supportive ways towards your spouse and your children are more likely to follow in the same footsteps. Don't be afraid to show a loving kiss or hug in front of your kids.  It's OK for kids to see you discuss something or disagree with each other as spouses.  Just let them see how you come to resolution as well.  Teaching them that "good couples" don't argue is a myth.  If you are not ever disagreeing with each other, then you are probably not discussing the difficult topics of raising a family and being a good support for each other.
  • Dads, did you do some "not so great" things when you were a kid?  It doesn't mean that you need to share all those specifics with your children, but you can share with them that you are not perfect and that you don't expect them to be perfect either.  If youngsters feel they have to be perfect, they are setting themselves up for disappointment on a regular basis as well as a lot of stress.  What I like to ask in those situations is, "Did you give 110% of what you had at the time?" Effort can be much more important than the outcome sometimes.
  • Dads, are you approachable to your children?  Or are they afraid to talk to you about something they are curious about or some struggle that they may be having?  Do your kids talk to Mom more than they do you?  Do they talk to another adult about serious matters more than they talk to you?  You have the power to change that if you are willing to be a little uncomfortable.  You are a wonderful resource to your children, if you let them in.
While I have touched on just a few areas where Dads can be an inspiration to their children, there are many more areas where Dads are king.  If you would like to discuss further how to be a great dad or how to help someone you know be a great Dad, I would be honored to be a part of that journey.

Until next time.....look at life and your inspirations From The Positive Perspective.
Stay well.
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I welcome feedback regarding the newsletter or questions about my practice.  I can be reached at maryellen@dabalmft.com .  I cannot, however, give advice through email. For more information on my practice please visit my website: www.dabalmft.com

I wish you well...