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If you’re looking for advice for being a good dad, there are a lot of books out there. A quick search on Amazon brings up titles like How to Father, 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know, and the classic Dude, You’re Going to Be a Dad.
But can I tell you…no matter what parenting technique you subscribe to, unless you are a total (ahem) donkey, you’re going to do just fine as long as you remember that your kids need your presence.
Not want, ask for, seek out…need. Can it feel awkward sometimes? Yes. Will you be doing things you wouldn’t pick to do. Absolutely. Might you fail miserably in trying to connect with them. Quite possibly. But God will bless your effort.
Dad Day Fail
My eldest son adored trains when he was little. (Maybe you know a little boy like that?) Thomas the Tank Engine and friends were a big hit at my house. My younger son loved them too, for the characters. So when my husband found out that ‘A Day out with Thomas’ was coming to our city, he planned to take the boys. I was out of town that weekend, so he was on his own. They were only 3 and 4 at the time, so I was a little worried about not being able to go along, but trusted that Greg could handle it.
He got them dressed in their matching LSU overalls, packed up the double stroller, and headed out.
Things started looking bad right off the bat when he realized he was going have to park and ride a shuttle bus to the event. When the large, noisy bus approached, my eldest decided he wanted no part of it. After some coercing, they unhappily boarded. Greg lugged the double stroller aboard and they headed off to meet Thomas.
Well, if the bus was too big, Thomas was a giant monster. Big brother refused to get too close to it and riding was out of the question. Greg found a small train ride and convinced him to give that a try first. But when it was their turn, he changed his mind. Greg talked him into riding, and snapped the following picture of the boys. You can see that my younger son also looks quite concerned. All of his older brother’s uncertainty had him unsure at this point now too.
This is one of our all time favorite pictures because it so perfectly encapsulates their whole day. Here he is on a train, his favorite thing in the world, and he could not look more put out.
They did end up riding the big train, although no one had much fun. And there was a small ‘situation’ on an inflatable slide. But you know what… they made memories.
Don’t Give Up
Dads, don’t give up time with your kids because you don’t think you can handle it. (Guess what, moms think that every single day, too!)
- The time you spend with them will imprint you forever in their lives.
- Yours is the voice they will hear in their heads, guiding them.
- The security that your presence fills them with will turn to boldness to become who God made them to be as they grow.
- You don’t have to be a college professor to teach your kids, either. Just allow them to be with you when you do what you’re doing.
- Seek out other dads with your same goal.
- Find a dad who you’d like to be more like and model him.
- If you’re on Facebook, I recommend following Dale Partridge. He is a Christian man who speaks directly and boldly to husbands and fathers about Godly marriage and parenting.
And if you’d like some additional motivation…check out this short video.
Dads, thanks for all you do…we sure need you a lot!