The very first moment you saw your child was one of the most incredible things you have ever experienced. The emotions were nearly indescribable. Your mind dreamed of how you will make life wonderful for that beautiful little baby. How have you done with that?
Life moves forward and we all learn the lesson that parenting is tough business. To be a dad, a good dad, takes sacrifice and diligence. Most of all, it requires a man to feel and share love deeper than he ever knew was possible. There is no such thing as a perfect parent and even the best make their share of mistakes. However, there are standards to be set and to be lived up to. Standards we should not allow ourselves to sink below. The results when we do are often tragic. Here are 10 things that men who are trying to be the best father they can be don’t do.
1. All Pro Dads Don’t Avoid Communication
Your child wants nothing more than your attention. It means everything in the world to them. Coming home from work, turning on ESPN, and tuning everything else out is the default for many men. Don’t be like that. If you do, it can severely harm the crucial lines of communication that you will desperately want to have open as your children continue to grow. Keep the TV off, get down on their level, and start listening. You will never regret it.
2. All Pro Dads Don’t Abuse
According to the Baltimore County Government in Maryland, 84% of prison inmates were abused as children. They also state that 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys are sexually abused by an adult at some point during childhood. More than 80% of the abusers are a parent or someone close to the child. Whether it is physical, sexual, or mental abuse, it can’t and won’t be tolerated. There are no excuses.
3. All Pro Dads Don’t Fail To Lead By Example
A child can spot a hypocrite just the same as you can. When you say one thing and do another, all it does is send mixed messages and allow for future excuses for the child to do the same. If we are to be proper leaders, we have to hold ourselves accountable to lead by the highest example.
4. All Pro Dads Don’t Neglect
As the head of the family, a dad’s responsibilities are numerous. We must take care to see that we do not neglect a single one. This applies to divorced fathers as well. Handle your business. Pay your child support in full and on time.
5. All Pro Dads Don’t Place Work Above Family
Workaholics are plentiful and have a million excuses to justify their actions. It is expensive to raise a child, and that certainly requires money and a great work ethic. In most cases, though, the workaholic is really going overboard for selfish reasons – status. Placing your job or career above your family leads to messes that are impossible to fix later in life. Choose your priorities carefully.
6. All Pro Dads Don’t Live Selfishly
It is the responsibility of a father to put himself second to the needs of his family. [Tweet This] While it is important to have individual interests, such as a round of golf or time away with buddies, they should always take a backseat to the family he leads. Give of yourself unselfishly towards the happiness and security of your family. They come before you.
7. All Pro Dads Don’t Deny Affection
Spiritually, we are called to display affection and tenderness towards our parents, spouses, siblings, and children. Hug your children and say you love them. If you don’t, they will find somebody else who will.
8. All Pro Dads Don’t Disregard Discipline
Failing to discipline children is an enormous mistake that hurts the child, as well as society. It is very easy to see examples in our world today of children that never heard the word no or experienced consequences to their actions. The end result is a life that never reaches its potential. Properly discipline your child for it is a great expression of love and an investment in their future.
9. All Pro Dads Don’t Stunt Development
It seems logical that no parent would purposefully stunt the growth and development of their own child. Yet there are a great many actions we take that can do just that. We may fail to see a child’s given talents and nurture them. Some parents place unrealistic expectations on a child by trying to live out their own dreams. Allow your children to grow into who they were born to be. We are to help them build a solid foundation and instill the principles of success. Trust your child when it comes time for them to fly.
10. All Pro Dads Don’t Show Disrespect
A dad should display honor, courage, and respect. When we disrespect ourselves, our spouses, and our families, we taint everything in our sphere of influence. The effects are far-reaching and highly contagious. “Men are respectable only as they respect.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What can I do to be a better father?”