Father’s Day has long been a celebration of fatherhood, and is a tradition worthy of continuing. There is no role a man can play that is more important. It’s been said, as a matter of fact, that no success can compensate for failure in the home. And no unhappiness can sting the conscience more than the knowledge that you did not do what a dad is supposed to do, that your child or children suffer because you didn’t live up to your responsibilities as a dad.
So here, I propose a new Father’s Day Tradition. Let this day be a day to celebrate a renewed commitment to being the kind of father our children need and deserve. Let’s commit ourselves to rising to the occasion regardless of where we are in life, what our pasts are like or how our fathers lived or treated us. We are not our pasts. We can set own courses. So let’s decide and recommit to living as fathers worthy of the title!
1. Greater Personal Happiness.
By so committing and successfully becoming a better father, guilt will be diminished and the shame and remorse for failure in so sacred a calling will be mitigated
2. Happy Children
Children are happier when raised by dads who themselves are good and kind and respectful and patient and loving and moral. But what specifically are we committing to? Almost anything that would make us better fathers will work, but I’ve identified 5 commitments I think will take us far in improving our parenting. Let me know in the comments if there are other areas you would add to my list.
5 Commitments for Fathers to Improve Their Children’s Happiness
1. Spend More Time
Our children need both quantity and quality time. The quality of the time spent is dependent on its quantity. As a matter of fact, quantity opens the door to quality. The latter is limited by limiting the former! The reason should be obvious too: If our children believe they are not particularly valued (the office, the TV, the game, takes precedence), the time we do spend will not be as open and influential and enjoyable. The quantity sends the message of value and opens the door to really quality moments of deep connection.
2. Be More Patient
Impatient bursts of frustration and anger do not lend themselves to happy kids. Such outbursts send clear signals to children. It communicates the sense of being a burden, a hassle and a regret. That may be the furthest thing from the truth, but it doesn’t matter. Children often interpret frequent emotional discharges as such. Impatience really does hurt and cripple.
3. Do More Than Punish – Teach!
My wife has really been the driving force behind this one. She has been so good at sitting down with our son to teach him why his misconduct was unacceptable. I was always more likely to step in and discipline without the discussion, without taking the time to actually teach our child the whys and hows of good behavior. Disciplining tis way takes more time and thought. But it will pay off in the long run with more happiness in the home.
4. Establish a Peaceful Home
Frequent and explosive marital discord is not good for young developing psyches. Such fights can wound our children and callous their hearts. It is so important to remove ourselves from our children’s presence when fighting until we can learn to discuss in reasonable tones without hostility and rudeness and verbal abuse.
Learn and grow and develop the traits that good parents use in good parenting. In the process, you will become the man your children can honor and respect. You will become the man your children can trust. And you will become the kind of man your children can emulate. Never tire of personal growth, of learning and developing the traits and characteristics that lend themselves to better parenting.
So develop more kindness and compassion, honesty and patience. Be more loving and attentive and forgiving and humble and gracious. Then, as you learn and grow and develop such traits, both you and your children (and your spouse too) will be the happier for it.
In the end, as you make such commitments and use Father’s Day to regularly recommit to such things, you will find life more pleasing, your kids better behaved (over time), and life happier, more enjoyable and more fulfilling.
What Trait do You Think is Most Important for a Good Father to Develop?
- Tell me about your dad’s qualities.
- What kind of dad have you been?
- What stands in the way of being the dad you want to be?
- Please share in the comments!