Author Joe Pellegrino discovered it’s never too late to let your children know you love ‘em. When his son Joey was little, Joe taught him to play baseball. As a challenge, he told Joey, “If you hit the ball over my head, I’ll buy you the Lego pirate ship you’ve been wanting.”
As Joe remembers the story, Joey never hit the ball over his head. Joey remembers the day differently. Over the years, those differences in memory occasionally came up. Joey would say, “You never bought me my Lego pirate ship.” Joe would answer, “You never hit the ball over my head.” And back and forth it would go: “Yes, I did.” “No, you didn’t.”
Years later, when Joey was twenty-four years old, Joe visited a Walmart and cut through the toy department to get to where he was going. He passed by the Lego section … and the newest version of their pirate ship. As soon as he saw it, the thought struck him, “Who cares which one of us remembers that day correctly? Joey has grown into a young man with character and integrity.” Joe bought the pirate ship and gave it to him with a card on which he had written, “Dear Joey, forgive me for being so late with this gift. I’ve witnessed a lot of home runs in your life, and I’m so proud of you. Love Dad.”
It’s never too late to write that note, to make that phone call, or to fulfill a promise you made a long time ago. It’s never too late to speak into the life of your child and to simply say, “I love you. I’m proud of you.”.
Your words as a father have a powerful impact on your kids … for good or bad.
In 1940, 3.8 percent of children were raised without a father in the home. In the 1960s, it was 5 percent. Today, conservative estimates are around 40 percent. Statistics like that reflect real problems.
Fathers provide strength and security to their children simply by their presence. By almost every measure, fathers who are actively involved in their children’s lives have a powerful influence. Children do better academically and are less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol. They’re twice as likely to go to college, 75 percent less likely to have a child during their teen years, 80 percent less likely to be incarcerated, and half as likely to struggle with depression.
On our Focus on the Family Broadcast “The Power of a Father’s Words,” our guests Joe Pellegrino and Joe Battaglia will share great examples of a father’s influence and will offer wonderful principles to guide dads by being present and connecting in their children’s lives in a meaningful way.
Joe Pellegrino and Joe Battaglia have written a fabulous book, Fathers Say: Give the Gift of Blessing to Your Children. We’d like to put this resource into your hands for a gift of any amount. Give us a call at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459) our visit our website for more information.
Joe Pellegrino is the founder and president of a ministry for men called Legacy Minded Men. Joe Battaglia is the founder and president of Renaissance Communications.