To me, the single greatest thing about being a dad is that I am a dad. A dad is much more than being a father; it is a lifetime commitment to my children. The following are a few thoughts on how I believe we can be the best dad for our children:
Love your wife. Show and tell her that every day. Show and tell your children that you love their mother, every day. Your children need to see this.
Show and tell your children that you love them every day, they also need to hear it.
Family may be the first and last thing you can always count on
Tell them that they may not always like their brother, but they will always love them. Family is always there for you
Teach your children right from wrong on all things, big and small. Life gives us opportunities to provide these lessons. Use them.
Teach your children respect, of all things
Make your children laugh; be a bright point in each of their days.
Be there when they cry; be their strength
Show them how to be strong in mind, body and spirit.
Show them that it OK to cry. Emotions are critical to our health.
You are not superman. It’s always OK to ask for help.
Your life goals should not be forced on them.
Each child is an individual with their own strengths and weaknesses. Encourage their strengths; assist them to overcome their weaknesses. Don’t compare.
Punishment should fit the crime.
Discipline is important
Recovery from a mistake or a failure is a natural part of life and is how we learn to be human.
You do not have to always be their friend, but you always have to be their dad.
Listen and learn from your children, they have amazing minds
A few lifelong friends are more important than having lots of friends.
Being popular is nice but being loyal is critical.
Teach them to think for themselves, the popular opinion is usually wrong
Teach them to teach themselves. It’s good for a lifetime
Show them how to explore; everything
Share your mistakes and successes with them.
Tell them the truth, especially when it’s hard
Let them know that actions have consequences, some good, some bad, and that you will always be there to help them through those consequences even if you are the one that has to enforce them.
Language is the way we express ourselves, teach them to use it well
Teach them to stand on their own, that ultimately they are responsible for and to themselves
Teach them how to mow the lawn, hammer a nail, tighten a screw, do the laundry, prepare a meal, and start a fire, and all the other of life’s little chores.
Take them out, without their mother. You’ll be surprised in the difference this makes.
A little bit of “sinning” can be good for the soul. Mom doesn’t need to know everything.
Watch other dads. Learn from them.
Know your children and trust them. If you break a trust you may never get it back.
You are a dad. Be the best one you can be. There is always room for improvement.
You are the example that will influence the rest of their lives.