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4 Big Fathering Errors to Avoid

My grandfather was a very successful business man, and he was influential in the community. He paid for the best education not only for his children, but also for his grandchildren. While he gave his kids every advantage money had to offer, when it came to relationships with them he had the philosophy, “Children should be seen and not heard.” So they were constantly sent away to boarding schools and summer camps rather than listened to, cared for, and loved. He was preoccupied with building an empire rather than spending time with and loving his kids. That created many wounds.

It wasn’t that he was a bad person, or maybe even a bad father. However, as a dad he certainly made many critical errors. If we’re not careful, we can make the same mistakes and leave our children with a lack of wholeheartedness. We can even do it with the best of intentions and love for our kids. Parenting is one of the hardest jobs you can have. So here are 4 big fathering errors to avoid.

1. Being preoccupied with things other than your kids.

What takes up most of your time? What fills most of your thoughts? Are you aware of what your children are doing, reading, listening to and watching? Do you know their friends? If you’re preoccupied with things other than your children, shift your focus back to them. We’re not saying you can’t be focused on your career or have hobbies, but if you don’t know the answers to the questions above you probably need to spend time focusing on your kids.

2. Refusing to see the reality of who your children are.

We love our children, but as the saying goes, love can be blind. Of course, we should look for the good in our children, but we also need to be realistic when it comes to seeing them for who they really are. It is only then that we can help them grow in their challenge areas. Max De Pree said, “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality.” Your kids need your leadership in this area.

3. Rationalizing our children’s wrongs.

“He’s really a good kid, he just attracts bad friends.” “She’s really a nice girl; I know there must be a reason she talked back to her teacher.” When our children do wrong, we owe it to them to give them loving consequences. If we aren’t willing to give our children consistent and loving correction they will remain children forever.

If we aren't giving our children consistent and loving correction they will remain children forever. Click To Tweet

4. Failing to respond to the warnings of others.

If your child’s teacher points out troublesome behavior in your child, don’t just listen, do something. If you have caring friends who tell you that your child is headed down the wrong path, don’t get angry at them or defend your child, take their warnings to heart and act…for the good of your child.

Sound Off

What is your biggest struggle as a dad?

  • BryanEW710

    In all fairness, though, your kids shouldn’t be the center of your attention at all times, right? For example, they should understand that, for example, your wife and your relationship is more important.

    • BJ_Foster

      Yes. Your relationship with your wife should come first. When that relationship breaks down it makes the family fragmented and unstable.

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