Dads in the Limelight Series
Our 337th Dad in the Limelight is author John Bushman. I want to thank John for being a part of the Dads in the Limelight Series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.
1) Tell me about yourself:
I’m the father of 5, the son of 2, and the husband of 1. For the last 16 years, I have been a religious educator and youth conference speaker. In the little spare time I have been able to carve out of life, I have taken up writing. In 2011, I published a book called, “Impractical Grace” and with my wife, I have just come out with my second book called, “Table Talk”.
2) Tell me about your family:
Family life stays very busy. There are always practices and rides and events to keep track of and attend. But as a family, we also love to go out on outings together. My oldest is in college, the next in high school, then Jr. High, 3rd and 1st grade.
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
The biggest challenge is juggling family, work, volunteering, and finding time for just my wife and I.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
Once I heard that daughters will often marry someone similar to their father. Since my first 3 are daughters, it made me really want to be the kind of guy I would want my daughters to marry. But if that piece of advice wasn’t hard enough, I also heard that sons will pretty much do what they are told till there are 12; then they start to act as they have seen their father act for the first 12 year. So that also is a scary thought that has shaped me. We will have to wait and see how both theories play out in the lives of my kids.
5) Seeing that you (or your position) are in the limelight, how have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?
I have found I have to make time for Tina and my children. That means I have to turn off the radio in the car or TV at home, and start asking questions about their life. It seems like if we find time to just talk, it is easier to deal with difficulties when they do come up. Because life is so busy, I find I can’t let life distract me from those that are most important.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
I have found that when life puts me in situations as a parent, it is easy to react rather than act. It is easy for me to father the way I was fathered or have seen other people father. This can be good or bad. But I think it is important that we are intentional fathers; that we decide, before hand, how we are going to act in situations that are difficult, that we don’t just let fathering happen to us. We should be conscious of the way we are doing things, and seek to improve. When we make mistakes, we need to admit our failures, and then work at doing it better.
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
There is power in a back scratch before going to bed. The most uninterested teenager will beg you to stay and talk if you are scratching their back. The younger kids even more. Those are times we can talk about things that matter.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
Once my family and I were at a large family reunion. We were all at a park and would be swimming at a different location later. When we arrived at the pool, my wife and I realized that we had somehow left one of our kids at the park. I don’t know if I have ever been gripped with fear like that before, or since. It later all turned out fine, but I think it made me realize the great responsibility I have as a father.
-John S. Bushman www.tabletalkbook.com
If you have any questions for John, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!