My kids are all grown. I miss the days when coming home they’d run to me and want to play. I always wanted to be an awesome Dad. Some days I did better than others. No matter where you are today, you can become that awesome Dad tomorrow. Print off the following and stick it in a place you will read it periodically over this next year. Pick one area to work on this week and BE AWESOME!
(Image via Charlie Belvin Designs)
Fill their emotional tank.
Years ago – even before I was a Dad, I found a book on parenting that has become a classic. We recommend it to every parent. It is called: How To Really Love Your Child, by Dr. Ross Campbell. The core idea is our children have emotional tanks that need to be filled on a regular basis with:
Eye Contact: stop what you are doing, get down on their level and warmly look them in the eye. They will feel important—like they really matter!
Physical Affection: gentle, playful, meaningful touch makes them feel secure and loved.
Focused Attention: give them the gift of your presence. Let them know they have your undivided attention.
Dads remember: The younger your child, the more often you will need to fill their tank.
Love their mom.
If you want to instill security and stability in your kids, love their mom. If you want your children to know how to get along with others, love their mom. If you want your kids to have the best possible chance at making it one day in their own marriage, love their mom.
Basically if you want your children to succeed in any and every of life, LOVE THEIR MOM! And if you don’t know how, start reading and talking to those who do.
It is that important!!!!!
How can you show love to their mom today?
Encourage them in their dreams.
When my son first told me he was going to change his major in college to history, I thought “seriously?” That was in my head. With my words, I wanted to do all I could to encourage him. Today, our son is one year away from being a University History Professor at the age of 28, and guess what? I can tell you there is not going to be a better history teacher on the face of the earth! And I can’t wait to sit in on one of his classes!
What are your children’s dreams? What can you say or do to encourage them?
Be your child’s greatest mentor.
We tend to farm our kids out to everyone on the planet for their intellectual, physical, character, and spiritual education. Not much room left for parenting. Wrong! There is no one on the earth who plays a greater role in the lives of your children than you as a mom or dad. Think of all the ways you can mentor your children from tire changing to bread baking to relationship building and beyond!
Mentoring was one of my greatest joys as a Dad!
Make a list of 20 ways you can mentor your children. Pick one and start!
Point them to God—first by the way you live.
Sooner or later your children will come to an end of themselves and become aware of great need. By living and modeling a life of faith in God, they will most likely turn to Him. Just remember how you live—and this is true in any area of life—speaks louder than any words you might say.
What is one area of your life with God you can begin to shore up today?
It is never over until it is over.
Nine years ago, I had a very close friend die of cancer. He was an amazing man of God and Father to his four sons. At the end, he showed us how to die well. His faith carried him all the way through. He wasn’t complaining of his days cut short. He had incredible perspective. If I model the same to my kids half as well as my friend, I will be grateful. Dads, the potential you have for good in the lives of your children will never be over until it is over.
What are three ways you can influence your children before you die that will make 100% difference in their life? Chew on this one a bit. Then take the first step towards making them happen.
Bonus: When writing this blog, I asked my kids what unique difference the presence of a Dad makes in the life of his children. Here is some of what they said:
- He brings a sense of stability and safety
- A father is seen as more of an authority, thus more able to teach on discipline, rules, consequences, and the importance of respect.
- He is a role model of how to treat a woman
- He helps shoulder the burden of a family
- He brings balance
- He builds a daughter’s confidence in herself—same as a son.