The nickname I use with my son is The Dude. It has nothing to do with the film The Big Lebowski. It’s a behavioral tool. Here’s how I use it.
There are a list of behaviors that go with being The Dude.
Say please and thank you.
Work at being a friend to everyone.
Treat everyone with respect.
Be honest even if it will get you in trouble.
And various other things most would agree is good behavior for getting along with other people. At age 4 I started doing this with my son. He is 12 right now. I have never had to punish him. When he has acted up or out as any child and adult will. I ask him if that was being The Dude?
We go over what it means to be The Dude and then he goes back off. We have a two minute conversation where he understands why what he did was not appropriate and what better behavior looks like. He understands it’s OK and that he is allowed make mistakes, just don’t make it a habit. The longer conversations are to help him understand why and what impact his behavior made.
Today when I talked to my son he asked me about meditation for the first time. It is a very cool thing for a father like me to be able to teach my son the things I teach other people. He had already been on Youtube and watched a few videos on the subject. We had a great conversation about it.
I have discovered more of what I understand about life the universe and most things in explaining it to him in a way he can understand than I have from any other human interaction. It’s why I say if you can’t explain it to a child you don’t understand it at all.
The things I can’t explain to my son are the things I still don’t understand. My son has a higher level empathic sensitivity like me. He’s hitting that age where puberty kicks in and the sensitivity goes through the roof. I didn’t have anyone to explain it to me or teach me how to manage it better when I was his age. I never realized I am an Empath until I was 37. I am 42 right now.
I have recently retired from certain aspects of my Shaman’s walk. The Dude has everything to do with that. With how I operate in my trance state and what happens in operation it makes it difficult at best to not need a lot of solitude to recover from the soul healing or soul retrieval work I have done for more than 2 decades.
That doesn’t work very well with being a father.
Those who can’t do, teach.
I still have all the understanding to teach any who is willing to do the work to learn. I still have the skills that allowed me to do that work and now have the opportunity to use those skills in other areas.
It’s a major life change for me and one I am happy to make.
The best part of my life is being The Dude’s Dad and this change in my life has everything to do with that.