From the first moment I held each of our newborn children, I immediately had a burning desire in my heart to be the very best dad possible to these cute little humans. But a great sense of weighty responsibility and emotion overwhelmed me.
Most dads genuinely want to be good parents. But sometimes it can be a real struggle. How do some dads find themselves sliding into complacency over the years of fatherhood? Regardless of how it happens, it doesn’t have to happen to you. Here are 3 types of dads to avoid becoming.
1. The “It’s No Big Deal” Dad
I’m sure you’ve stood talking to a parent before who justifies all the reasons why their kids misbehave—and they do it in front of their kids. The “it’s no big deal” parent quickly excuses wrong behavior by always having a good reason for why his children act the way they do. “They’re just tired! They’ve had a long day. They’re just different from other kids. Kids will be kids, right?” Although legitimate concerns may be glaringly obvious to others, these dads may still be oblivious to them because they’re not being intentional.
The Solution: Don’t make excuses for your kids or for yourself. Hold your kids accountable for their actions rather than excusing them.
2. The “Not My Kid” Dad
This parent has what I like to call “the NMK syndrome.” He is always convinced that his child could never possibly do the things that his child is alleged of doing. He sees his son or daughter as an exception to the rule, and so he goes to bat for his kids’ shortcomings and failures. He may do this by helping his children find ways to escape following through on their commitments. The “not my kid” parent has a hard time allowing his children to learn from their own mistakes and face the tough realities of life. You might hear him say some of these things: “I know that’s what most kids do, but my kids would never do that” or “My child is a ‘good kid’ who would never manipulate me or take advantage of my trust.”
The Solution: Always be your children’s parent before being your children’s friend. Do what’s best for them, not what’s convenient for you.Always be your kids’ parent before being their friend. Do what’s best for them, not what’s convenient for you.
3. The “If You Do That One More Time” Dad
This parent naturally threatens a lot but does very little. Through his actions, it is apparent that he has bought into the lie that louder parents raise more obedient kids, so he often uses increased volume to demand conformity. You might hear him say things like “I’m going to count to three” or “If you don’t listen, you’ll never get to ______ again.” This parent talks tough like he carries a big stick, but he rarely if ever uses it.
The Solution: Let your words, without increased volume or threats, speak for themselves through consistent consequences and follow-through.
Sound off: Which of these three types of parents do you have to work hardest not to become?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “How many times do I have to say something before you take me seriously?”