02204_000_010Personal interviews with my children have been a great source of joy and inspiration.
“Is it Daddy Sunday?”
I hear this question from my five children practically every Sunday as we arrive home from Church meetings. Daddy Sunday is the day I hold personal interviews with each of my children. These interviews, held every fast Sunday, have been a great source of joy and inspiration.
A little more than four years ago, I was sitting in a leadership meeting when a wise member of the stake presidency invited fathers to begin a tradition of regularly interviewing their children. His instruction was to do so at an early age—even if our children might not be able to communicate in full sentences. Doing so, he said, would engender in fathers and children a desire and ability to speak openly. He suggested that the interviews become part of our Sabbath worship on fast Sunday.
I recall the Spirit whispering to my soul that this counsel was heaven-sent. My children were all very young, but I was able to envision my future relationship with each of them as they grew older. How I would need to be able to speak to them without fear or discomfort!
I have held these interviews almost without exception each month since then. Every fast Sunday I kneel and begin my fast by including a plea for the inspiration I need to conduct productive interviews. I pray that Heavenly Father will soften the hearts of my children. I also pray that He will let them know how much I love them, thus allowing them to feel free to discuss their concerns, accomplishments, and feelings. Fasting makes these prayers more poignant and heartfelt.
My children are growing up quicker than I ever imagined. We are now working on requirements for the Faith in God Award with my nine-year-old, baptismal interview questions with my seven-year-old, and curiosity about preschool with my four-year-old. I appreciate the openness we enjoy and the chance I have to teach my children. During our interviews, I pray with them and express my love for them.
Occasionally the interviews with my youngest children may amount to no more than playing with dolls, but they look forward to personal time with me each month. As they approach their teenage years, I hope they remember that they can always talk to me.
I am thankful for a wise leader, the gift of the Holy Ghost, the principle of fasting, a loving Heavenly Father, and my wonderful children, who make my experiences with fatherhood some of my most cherished blessings and memories—especially on Daddy Sunday.
Photograph by David Stoker