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Energy: Let’s get Physical

October 24, 2011

The energy starts with you, Dad.

Many of you know that I am becoming a certified Life & Performance coach through an organization called IPEC.  IPEC specializes in something called “energy leadership” (  The basic idea is that we bring different levels of energy with us in everything we do.  It is  how we show up and engage  life.

As fathers, there are four basic areas where our energy, or how we show up, directly effects our kids:  physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.  Over these next four blogs, we will look at each area.  Let’s start with physical energy.  Being a father who works full-time or stays home with the kids can be physically exhausting.  Little kids are absolutely relentless in their desire to engage physically and older kids still need our focused attention.  Kids are often not particularly convenient with their demands for energy from Dad.

So, what level of physical energy do you bring to your house?  Are you rock’em, sock’em playing  with the kids or are you the “nap Dad”?  Are you up to get late night ice cream or do you just want to be left alone with your book, computer or television show?  The level of energy we bring to the house, sets the tone for the entire house.  I have to admit I like a good nap and reading a good book, just like most men.  Sometimes engaging with our two teenagers can seem like a hassle or another thing to do after a long day.  But, here’s the thing, if I do not have the physical energy to engage with them, they will look someplace for that engagement.  When dads are checked out night after night, kids get the message that they are of secondary importance.  Kids quickly adapt and use facebook, boyfriend/girlfriends, texting and many other things to feel important.

Men, if you do not feel like you have the physical energy to consistently engage with your children, then you have to be willing to make changes. For some it might be a change in diet/exercise routine, while others of you need to seriously look at your job or outside activities. We need to put ourselves in a position to have the energy to fully engage with our kids.

Our kids deserve our full physical energy and they dying to follow our lead.

Patrick Donohue is a Life Coach in Oak Park, IL. Contact him at

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