Watching television other evening an advertisement from the Church of Christ Latterday Saints drew my attention. I watched a small boy follow his dad around the house. The dad seemed to be doing a lot of this and that, really nothing important. Soon the boy got his dad’s attention and showed him some money he had in his hand … small change … he hoped it would be enough to pay for an hour of his time.

It seems dads are so busy now. Going to work, playing golf, running, jogging, bowling, going to the exercise room and whatever.

As I go to court, or read police reports I wonder what kind of dad this perpetrator had. Did he take the time to play ball, go swimming or even do a little fishing, anything where there could be one on one contact? All the great things a dad can do with his kids in times like these kids need a super dad. Time goes so fast, they are born and before you realize it, they are grown and out the door. A byproduct of your training, I hope you talked to them about the rights and wrongs of life and what it takes to be a real human being.

So, dads, I am telling you how very important you are in your children’s life. Not only theirs, but their friends that hang out at your home. You can be a guiding light for their future, teach them there is no room for violence in their relationships with others. It is never too soon to talk to your children about violence, it is all around them, movies, t.v., music, the internet, games, most of them teach that you have to be tough to be in control.

Think about it, you are their pattern for growing up. They will watch how you treat their mother, or anyone you come in contact with when they are with you. So watch how you treat your friends, your daughter and even the waiter or waitress at your favorite hang out.

Leave the door open and let them know you will always be there no only to talk to them, but to listen to what they have to say. You will never be sorry.

— Mary Callow, Court Advocate, Crime Victim Services