As a father, I would like to think that I am one of the best. I strive everyday to be the best version of what I think a Dad should be. To be honest, I fail a ton. Some of the areas that I will mention are my weakness’ as a Father. I list them and discuss them, in hopes to help other Dads.
- Patience- Man o Man, I wish I had more of this. Its easier said then done, thats for sure. Kid’s tend to push you to the limit in every category of life. They will push every button that you have and then some. I have gotten better over the years, but early on it was a struggle. I would find myself losing my shit in restaurants, church, or even at relative’s houses. What has helped me grow as a person, and a father, is to just let it go. We as Dad’s cant control everything. Shit is going to happen! When it does let it roll of your shoulder. At the end of the day, when you are kissing your children good night, you won’t even remember why you were mad.
- Disconnect- meaning put down the phone. I struggle with this. I have found that I am pretty much addicted to my phone. Until recently, with a little help from my wife, I didn’t realize how much I space out on the phone. Checking email, twitter, Facebook, Insta, or even Podcasts. I have decided to quit my phone while I am around them. As I write this, I can see my wife rolling her eyes. Its hard! I am not perfect, I will struggle with this, but our children are the light of the world, to miss them growing up, and experiencing life, would be a crime. Just stop, and think. Do you remember when they were little. I don’t mean general memories, I mean specifics. I don’t, and it makes me sad. Now add a cell phone in the mix. Those memories get harder to reflect on. Everyday my kids get bigger and act more and more like adults. Enjoy everyday with them, put down the phone and take in the moment. I will struggle with this, but i will make a honest effort.
- Language- Our kids grow up so fast. Let them be kids as long as possible. This isn’t so much for me, but I have been around parent’s who curse around their kids. I get it, sometimes it slips, but why expose them to that so early. I cringe every time I hear a parent use colorful comments around their kids. Let kids be kids, and watch the language.
- Be in the moment- This is hard for me. Many times when I am at an event, my mind wonders. Thinking about the next day, or projects for work. Be in the moment. Alan Stein Jr came on the podcast and state, ” Be where your feet are.” Perfect and Basic. I took my son to karate this past weekend, and I watched the entire thing. I usually read a book or flip through my phone. This time I decided to actually pay attention to the entire practice. I didn’t realize this, but my son looks at me every time he does a move. After every demonstration or move, he looks at me to see if I was watching. My heart sank. I haven’t been prior to this day. He wants me to watch him, and selfishly I watched something else. Can you imagine what that does to their little minds. I have to get better at disconnecting. So do you. We all do.
- Conversation- As my kids get older, they talk all the time. Usually about nothing. None the less they try and talk to me. They ask a million questions about nothing and I typically just shake my head and say “yep”. I have to stop. I have to start communicating better and more effectively with them. I have to show that I care about what they have to say, regardless if its about poop, or pee, or farts. Take the time to listen to their stories and comment honestly on their stories. Build their confidence in the communication world.
Again, I am not perfect. I struggle with these areas just like the next guy. I will try my best to get better and challenge you to do the same. Together we can become better Father’s!
Here is a great book on Fatherhood