Tell your child what is truly in your heart for them.
Tell your child what is truly in your heart for them.

I grew up without seeing or knowing my father. He made a decision before I was born to not support my mother and me. When I was in my twenties, after we reconnected, I asked him why he had made the decision to leave.

He told me that it was one of the worst decisions he had ever made. He really wanted to be there for me and his other children, but he was scared, and rightly so, because he had gotten another lady pregnant at the same time my mother was pregnant.

I have a sister who is five months older than me.

Today, my dad has at least eight children.

I doubt very much that he himself knows the exact number.

I do know, though, that he is trying very hard to build a relationship with each of his children, some of whom are not very receptive to the idea.


I admit that I felt abandoned and lost growing up without my dad.

Although my mother discouraged it, I really wanted to have a relationship with him.

Children have that natural desire to have their father around. Children love their father with an unconditional and infallible type of love. To them, it matters not what he does, only that he is there for them.

Fathers are the same way about their children. Some fathers may hide what’s truly in their heart, or their affection for their children, but they love them fiercely.

The truth is that every father has a hidden desire in his heart for his children.

The opportunity for fathers is to expose their desire.

I suspect that this is the opportunity presented in the Bible, in Malachi 4:6, which states that “And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse”. 

Our children are already in our hearts.

The opportunity is for us to turn, or cause to become the father we desire to be, to our children.

Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist teacher, and one of my favourite authors, told a story illustrating the need to become such a father.

He said, “When you love someone, you have to be truly present for him or for her. A ten-year-old boy I know was asked by his father what he wanted for his birthday, and he didn’t know how to answer. His father is quite wealthy and could afford to buy almost anything he might want. But the young man only said, ‘Daddy, I want you!’ To express true love, we have to make ourselves available.” I believe this is how we also demonstrate what’s in our hearts for our children.

My father relentlessly pursued a relationship with me.

Over the past five years or so, we have developed a wonderful relationship.

Last year, for the very first time, I told him that I loved him.

His response, after wiping away his tears, was that he felt like I had just given him a million dollars.

I was the first of his children to tell him that.

When we, fathers, live our lives this way, our children will feel free to do the same, turn their hearts to their father.

It’s written in Proverbs 27:19, “As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man [or man to child].”

Today, right now if you can, huddle in with your children, or call them, and tell them what’s truly in your heart for them.

Send me an email at, or give me a call on 338-3344 and let me know about your experience.

I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want the earth to be smitten, especially because I didn’t demonstrate my love and affection to Dakari.

Pete Saunders is a professional life coach who works with motivated men who are committed to accessing their true powers to fulfill their life purpose and strengthen their personal relationships.