Children can be cruel to their mothers rather than their fathers.
Why? Because a child sees their mother’s love as non-negotiable – the child believes their mother will never leave. Children feel they have to behave around dad or risk losing his love.
The key factor in being a good dad isn’t how much money he makes, his lack of a temper, or whether he has a drinking problem or not. It is how involved he is in his children’s lives.
To be the hero:
- Be tough enough to bear the weight of the family burdens.
- Reduce friction.
- Act on your highest beliefs.
Every day your children see you, they are shaped by you.
Toughness: dads have the ability to be tough. Don’t take it personally if your teenager loses control. Always be the grown-up. Don’t raise your voice when they do. Speak softly. Even as teens, they still have that little child inside them.
You are your kids’ leader, not their coach.
- A leader’s moral courage isn’t an option.
- A leader sacrifices himself. (He does things for his kids, not himself)
- A leader doesn’t follow the crowd.
Teach them wrong and right. Act sacrificially towards your family.
It’s important that if you had a bad father to recognize the mistakes that he made and understand that is not you. Be kinder and gentler to your children.
Figure out what kind of father you want to be and work toward it. Don’t let your past harm your present. Remember that you are your own man. Trust your instincts. Play a lot with your kids. Choose happiness.
Never assume that your children know that they are loved and valued. Communicate your love for your child at every chance.:
- Show up. Put your phone down.
- Say something, anything. Start a conversation with your kids.
- Never shy away from them.
Tell your children what you believe about them:
- Communicate simple truth.
- Raise their character, not the stuff they do.
- Let them catch you talking about them.
- Take advantage of their failure.
What are your hopes for your children?
- Talk about their future in very specific ways.
- Dream with them.
Here are six key ways that you can practice that will help you win the game of raising happy, successful children and will keep you a hero in your children’s eyes:
- Play with your kids
- Pray with your kids
- Be steady
- Be honest
- Be firm
- Stay committed
Your words have the power to heal or to hurt. A gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Your words, body language, and presence can determine your child’s outlook every day:
- Correction (don’t demean)
Courage and truth:
- Teach them where their real value comes from
- Talk to them about being courageous
- Tell your own story
- Live it
Sons imitate what they respect. If a son sees his father is weak, unreliable, and forgetful, he will distance himself from his dad because he won’t trust him. But the son that trusts his father moves closer to him.
If you have the courage to apologize you’ll feel stronger, not weaker, because you have conquered your ego.
Take inventory of your roadblocks to be a better father.
Harken back to what you would’ve liked your dad to have done when you were five or 10 or 15 or 20. Then, do that.