Okay, so you’re the Dad. That means you want to be Mr. Generous, and you want to make sure your children have everything. Good for you.
But the best we can do for our children has very little to do with passing over the keys to a new car, hooking Jr. up with that fly pair of $200 sneakers, or making sure your offspring attend the finest schools. What loving fathers “do” is to provide a framework in which kids can grow up to be the very best young people they can possibly be.
Our opportunity, as loving All Pro Dads, is to craft the kind of environment where such growth is possible. There’s a lot we can do – and the following “10 Things loving fathers do for their children” are a great place to start:
- Loving fathers… love their children’s mother: This is huge – possibly the most beneficial intervention dads can do on behalf of their children. Love your wife without reservation – you can’t do much more for your kids than that.
- Love them unconditionally: Make sure that your children know you love them “no matter what.” Don’t confuse this with permissiveness – unconditional love does nothing to encourage the wrong kind of behavior. In fact, kids who are secure in their father’s love tend to act out less, not more.
- Grow up: We’re talking about the dads here, not the kids! Children don’t want another buddy – they want a dad. They want someone who thinks things through, makes tough decisions and engages life with responsibility – someone they can count on.
- Be there: “Quality time” is all well and good… but it has nothing on quantity time. Make the time. Everyone has the same 24 hours available. Make yours count.
- Provide: Just do it.
– A stable home
– Love and affection
– Material needs
- Discipline: Children appreciate an even hand, balance, accountability and love-drenched discipline. It’s called consistency, and without clearly defined boundaries, it is very difficult to grow up.
- Value education: Don’t just read to them – read with them. Don’t just fuss about grades – get involved with their homework. Don’t just talk about learning – be a hands-on advocate
- Raise them to leave: The simple goal of being a family, of parenting our children, doesn’t look any more complicated than this: raise them well equipped to leave home and to establish faithful lives.
- Teach them to take responsibility: Kids who learn how to duck responsibility and avoid cost will – sooner or later – fall flat on their faces. Loving fathers make sure their children know how to own up, clean up, and move forward.
- Teach them to love this life: The best predictor of happiness in children is happiness in their parents. If we learn how to love this life, and then give that blessing to our kids, then they will be well prepared for satisfaction.