Being the Best Dad
June 6, 2018
Dads are busy guys who typically are busier than a person should be. From being a loving husband who wants to please his wife by taking her on dates to perpetually trying to keep the garage clean, the yard work done, and keep the honey-do list checked off, not to mention working a full-time job, finding time to keep in shape, have fun with the kids and help train them, plus try to watch your favorite television show, well, you don’t just get the picture – you livethis picture!
With this overloaded list occupying your time, how do you know if you are doing the Dad thing right or what is it you need to work on with your kids? When do you get to evaluate how things are going with them, and who is going to help you figure out what you need to work on?
I would offer you just one suggestion to help you think this through. Instead of looking at where you are at right now in your parenting, fast forward several years to when you will either be walking your daughter down an aisle, or preparing to watch your son marry the woman he will love and be a father with.
Then start thinking through what you want them to know and how to act and live their lives, because in that moment while you are rejoicing with them, you likely will be thinking back to what you wish you had taught them, or how differently you would have prioritized your to-do list.
You will also have a million memories flash through your mind. In seconds, you will travel from their birth to this, their wedding day remembering regrets and joys you had with them.
Mybestadvice(and how I tried to live my life) is this: on that day of celebration, I was determined I would stand tall and not look back and have regrets. Because I lived trying to envision what I wanted to teach and pass on to my kids every day so I would not have any doubts when they were ready to start a family of their own. This kept me focused during the years my kids were growing up on what I needed to work on training them in.
I have a friend named Brian who had the same goal and did something really smart with his boys before they left home for college. During their senior year of high school he planned 30Saturdays to take them out to breakfast where he covered points he wanted them to know so he (Dad) was sure he had equipped and prepared each of them to step out on his own as an adult. Some of these were major issues and some were just fun topics. Three boys; that was a total of 90 Saturdayshe gave to his sons, Dads! This was an incredible investment in their future success as men of God, loving husbands and wise fathers.
When my kids were in high school I took them out for lunch at least once a month just to talk. Did that pay off? Definitely! If you want to have a relationship with your adult kids, an investment of time in their teen years is the best way to accomplish it. Today when I visit my adult children at their homes (they live in 3 different states), I often take them out for lunch or dinner and it is normal and familiar to just sit there and talk. I remember one time after my son was married he took me out to breakfast just to talk and told me he was paying and I needed to accept it! WOW! What a feeling!
Dads, if you want to find out what you should be doing differently or if you need to be sure what you want to pour into your kids is what they need to know as young adults, ask a dad whose kids are married if he would share with you what he would do differently if he could go back and do “DAD” all over again.
Most Dads have a list of what they wish they had done differently when their kids were growing up. My encouragement to you is not to become one of those dads. Be the one who had goals and worked backwards so that you won’t have regrets when your kids are ready to start their own family. Be the one who has a relationship with and enjoys being friends with your adult kids and their kids.
(The photo at the top of this blog is of Joey Link and his daughter Amy Link Carpenter, (February 26, 2011)