Be the Best Dad Ever
It is a tough job being a Dad! Our Apostolate has always been dedicated to the sanctification of family life. On this particular page we hope to help you discover and learn how to become a better parent( Father& Mother).
God has truly blessed you with a gift!
Three Mistakes Dads Make
The other morning, my son attempted to help me make pancakes for the family. He tried to move a canister filled with rice to get some pancake mix and spilled the rice all over the floor. I got frustrated and blew up at him. At that moment, I knew I was acting stupid. Believe me—I know spilled rice isn’t a big deal, but for whatever reason, I made yet another of my dad mistakes.
My wife gently took care of the rice and let me excuse myself. After I calmed down, I did a couple of things. First, I apologized to my son and family for how I responded. That in and of itself is a whole other discussion. And I’m still doing the second thing I did that day: try to understand why I blew up like that. Indeed, stress, personality, and other factors play into it. But as I’ve thought it through, I’ve realized there are dad mistakes all dads make every day. Here are 3 we need to overcome.
1. We allow our emotions to rule us.
“You can only hide feelings for so long before they begin to rule you.”
Growing up, I trained myself to bottle up my emotions and not let anyone know how I feel. I thought that if you let someone see you hurting, you appeared weak. So I hid those emotions. You can only hide feelings for so long before they begin to rule you. The danger of not dealing with our emotions is we lose our ability to control how we respond. That’s exactly how I felt at that moment with my son. My first reaction, without thinking, was to blow up because I got angry, frustrated, and annoyed. I knew blowing up was wrong, but my emotions overpowered me. I realize how we express certain emotions can be difficult to adjust. So we need to find people we can be open with and share how we’re feeling. It is a mistake to let our emotions rule us.
2. We think only about ourselves.
A big part of me hates writing this article because it reminds me I can be selfish and prideful. My guess is a lot of us are and we get caught up in “surviving” or getting what we want to get done. I confess that sometimes I see my own family members as obstacles. When my son spilled the rice, part of me thought, “He’s making more work for me that I don’t want to do right now.” But someone famous once said to “love your neighbor, as yourself.” Your neighbor can mean your own family. We need to wake up every day with thoughts like these: “What does my wife need today? What do my kids need?” You can also ask them if you don’t know. One question I plan to use more is, “What’s your biggest need today/this week and how can I help you with it?” Let’s not keep making the mistake of thinking only about ourselves.
3. We forget what our true priorities are.
I suppose this last point relates a lot to the first two. If I remember each day when I wake up what my true priorities are, I’ll be more motivated to get my emotions under control, and I’ll think less about myself. This is because one of our most important priorities has to be our kids. I’m not sure what that means specifically to you, but for me, it means teaching my kids how to love and serve God along with loving and serving others. I didn’t do this well with my son the day I made pancakes, and thankfully, remembering my priority (and a gracious wife) helped me course correct. One of my mentors once said, “No one in this entire universe will care as much that you existed as your wife and kids.” Every day we need to remember our priorities so we can be intentional about investing in our families. It’s the most critical endeavor we’ll ever have. Keeping that priority at the forefront of our minds, again, should keep us from repeating these dad mistakes.
Value of Daddy/Daughter Dates
I can remember one of our first daddy-daughter dates, as I was dressed up in a suit and tie, and my 6-year-old daughter was in her favorite red dress. As we left the house that night hand in hand, I could tell my little girl could hardly contain her excitement about our night out together. In fact, I remember being pretty excited myself. What I didn’t know then, nearly 10 years ago, was that our dates together would do what they’ve done: keep us close and connected over the years.
“There’s something very special about the daddy-daughter relationship.”
There’s something very special about the daddy-daughter relationship. It’s hard to explain, but it’s very real. Since my daughter was young, I have tried to consistently take her out on daddy-daughter dates. She looks forward to them and she’s good at reminding me when it’s been a while. We both love them, and they have without a doubt enhanced our relationship over the years. Here are a few of the ways how.
1. We know each other better.
Daddy-daughter dates have allowed me to learn more about my daughter on a personal level and what is going on in her life at different stages. It also has allowed her to open up and talk to me more than at any other time because she knows I am all ears and that no topic is out of bounds. Daddy-daughter dates also have opened the door for ours to be more than just a family relationship, but a friendship. We can talk about whatever is on her heart and ask and answer questions in a one-on-one setting.
2. We love each other deeper.
The more you invest in a relationship, the more you get out of that relationship—even for a father and his daughter. When I go out of my way to show love to my daughter, the deeper our love grows for each other. She loves it when I invite her on a date, when I initiate a hug, or when I tell her how much she means to me. It means the world to her to be the center of my attention and to know that nothing matters to me in those moments except for her. Going on dates with her has given me an opportunity to do all of these things and more in a meaningful and memorable way. We are both better for it.
3. We enjoy each other more.
The more I communicate with my daughter, the more she enjoys communicating with me. Times spent going out together serve as a springboard for more conversations, fun times, laughs, and inside jokes. And although she may not know it, I’m trying to instill within her the instinctive knowledge of what to look for in a young man someday when she’s older. I not only want her to enjoy spending time with me as her father, but I also want to be the standard by which she judges other men. Through daddy-daughter dates, we thoroughly enjoy each other’s company. I see my daughter as one of my greatest life investments. And taking her on dates has proven to yield a worthwhile return on that investment.
Dont Try and Be Cool Dad
I don’t know about you, but I think I’m a pretty cool dad. I grew up in the ’80s and ’90s, when we had things like Walkmans, the birth of the World Wide Web, Bob Saget on America’s Funniest Home Videos, and Nintendo 64. I even had what it took to survive the Oregon Trail. I’m sure, like you, I’ve only grown in my coolness. But recently, I think my preteen son is starting to think I’m not so cool. And that’s most likely on him, because he just doesn’t understand what cool is. Right? Right. Fine—fortunately, being cool isn’t required to being a great dad.
I believe a lot of dads think being cool is a necessity for good parenting. I’ve seen a lot of dads trying to be their kids’ friends and seeking to ensure their kids are never uncomfortable or feel pain. They believe if they’re cool, their kids are going to like them and that that’s the definition of good parenting. Unfortunately, this is setting their kids up for hard lessons and potential failure in the future. Here are 4 reasons NOT to be the cool dad.
1. Your kids don’t need you to be cool.
When kids hit the preteen and teen years, everyone around them is making every possible effort just to be “cool.” Your kids see people pretending to be things they aren’t and when a dad does this just to be cool, it sends the wrong message to his kids. Your kids need a role model. Be someone who is confident and knows who he is.
2. Your coolness doesn’t add what you think it does.
“Kids need someone to guide them, to let them know when they’re heading in the wrong direction.”
Many dads think if they can be the cool dad, it will help their kids. They try being cool by giving their kids whatever they want and never telling them no. They think kids need freedom and comfort. But what kids need is structure. Structure allows kids to feel a sense of belonging and safety. Kids need someone to guide them, to let them know when they’re heading in the wrong direction. Be a dad who sets good boundaries for your kids.
3. Your effort to be cool is actually hurting your kids.
Kids need a parent and many times this means you’re not going to be cool with them all the time. Kids need someone who is going to love them unconditionally, who isn’t afraid to push back when they’re making mistakes. That’s not always seen as cool in the moment, but if you do it right, one day your kids are going to thank you for not being cool! Again, this means being comfortable in your role as a dad and often, it also means tough love.
4. Your kids need a great dad.
Your role is unlike any other role in the universe for your kids. It’s unlike any other relationship your kids will ever have. You are a provider, protector, advocate, guide, mentor, discipliner, and more. Your kids don’t need a great friend who’s cool all the time. They need a great dad to simply be their dad. From birth to age 10, our kids are going to think we’re amazing and can do nothing wrong! Once they get into those preteen years and older, we’re most likely going to be anything but cool to them. And that’s OK! Because hopefully, as you embrace your role as a dad, one day, when your kids are older and start having their own kids, you then can become the cool dad and their best friend.