Today is Father’s Day. In honor of being blessed to be a dad, I will pass along 5 thoughts on fatherhood that I think are vital to every father out there. The 5 thoughts are in honor of our daughter turning 5 this year……
1. Know your parenting style. Be aware of how the significant male role models in your life impacted your life. Were there certain traits they exhibited that you want to keep going through your family tree? Are there certain traits or traditions that need to die? If you are a spiritual person, ask God to show you what is needed in your immediate family. If you are not a spiritual person, ask someone who will give you good advice. Don’t be a carbon copy of anyone else--that’s boring.
2. Date your kids. Whether you have sons or daughters, they need some one-on-one time with you. I have learned (through trial and error) that the simplest things are appreciated most by kids. Bookstores, museums, parks, cafes, libraries---these are all places that can turn into adventures. Be silly. Take some pictures. And ignore your smartphone for a little bit. You might find some restored joy that you have not felt since…...you were a kid.
3. Date your wife. I don’t know many men that have mastered this. Finding a babysitter on a Friday night can be difficult. Even if it is once or twice a month, spend some time with your wife (without your child). This is tough when your children are small and only you and your spouse know when your child can handle being away from you. Mix it up with your spouse. Go on dates with just you two and do couples’ dates.
4. Be aware of your influences. We are all influenced by others. In this social media addicted world, we are getting messages fed into our little brains all day, everyday. There are some crazy ideas out there! Be aware of who is speaking into your life. Do people challenge you to be a better father/parent/spouse? There are a few guys in my life that are greatly responsible for a lot of the growth I have experienced in my life over the years---especially as a father. Guys, find some safe people you can be real with. It will benefit you as a man, father, husband, etc.
5. Start (INTENTIONALLY) building a legacy. I know the word “legacy” carries a lot of weight to it. But the moment you got married and even more when you had your first child, a legacy was being built. Men, we will leave a legacy behind us when we die. The question we need to ask ourselves is: “What will people remember me for and how did I make them feel/help them?” If your only goal in life is to climb the corporate ladder, you are misled on what is important. Are you making a difference in the lives of those you live with, work with, and spend time with? Do you make those are you better? Build something worthwhile.