Category Archives: Family Life Story

Writing Your Family Story

My Dad and me

Fathers and sons can be incredibly close, the connection between them the most powerful bond in the world.

But when I was growing up, I was actually closer to my mom–because Dad was almost never home, instead consumed by his business, a popular men’s and boy’s clothing store.

We understood his absences, but I think he regretted it. In fact, this beautiful letter from Dad to me recently fell out of a scrapbook, and said it all:

Backstage at ABC studios

His apparent guilt was truly unwarranted because I still felt his love in a myriad of ways: The affectionate brush of his hand across my cheek;  bending down to teach me how to make a tie; taking me skiing on Sundays; the way he carefully fitted my clothes at his store; getting me my first car and driving me to college; and standing backstage with me years later at a TV appearance.

As the years passed, and my career as an author developed, he was incredibly proud: “Glenn,” he’d tell me, “I don’t know how you do it. You’re great.” He was always encouraging me, strategizing about business deals, believing in me, providing that magic potion called unconditional love.

Toward the end of his life, when he was almost 98, as a tough-minded Marine whose slogan was “adapt and overcome,” he was still working out at the gym and driving his car, getting back and forth to the parking lot by using a power chair. A total inspiration. We talked almost every day. And without him now, left behind is a huge vacuum that will never be filled.

Joseph and Jared Cohen

I really miss him. So seeing his letter reminded me of a brilliant new book that captures the depth of a father son relationship. It’s called:  Write Father, Write Son: A Bond-Building Journey. It’s a series of poignant letters from father to son, written over a period of a decade, filled with fatherly advice and words of wisdom, messages from the heart.

The attentive Dad,  journalist Joseph Cohen, shows his son, Jared, how to develop as a man, writing candid notes that provide takeaway values and lessons. As each year passes, Joe  skillfully steers an adolescent boy into becoming a sensitive young man of integrity. Every boy in America needs a Dad like Joe.

Beyond the book, Joe has also co-created a revolutionary movement called Empowered Fathers in Action, a cutting edge non-profit designed to impact the connection of fathers and sons, and in the process empower young men to contribute to their communities. With a solid relationship to Dad, they feel better about themselves, and thus happier in life.

Christopher Salem and Davey Williams

In this, Joe has partnered with renowned prosperity coach, Christopher Salem, the author of Master Your Inner Critic,  who is the CEO and Co-Founder of EFA. Also on board is speaker and coach Davey Williams, Jr. the charismatic Director of Community Relations for the EFA. It’s a powerful trio of talent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why am I so interested? As we all know, boys today are bombarded with social media and impossible expectations, crushed by a competitive vibe that begins in kindergarten.

Through it all, the anchor of Dad can be profoundly stabilizing.In fact, one principal reason I support EFA is their commitment to reducing bullying incidents and decreasing the rates of teenage suicide and school shootings across the world.

What could be more important than that? I can tell you that, as a kid, I was traumatized in school by bullies, often humiliated in gym class, so I totally relate to the power of fatherly support, which can boost  self-confidence and lead to better self-esteem. The masculine influence is vital.

Joe, Chris, and Davey are true pioneers in a movement that will touch every father and son in America, motivating us all to watch closely over those we love the most.