One of the great things about living in the 21st century is the fact that we can order just about anything off the internet. A car part, a book I want to read, or that one cable I need are all easy to order. After a couple of clicks, I’ll find what I need on my doorstep. There are days I wish I could order dad skills like that. It would be great if being a better dad were that easy.
I would log on to some website, click a couple of links, and a few days later, find some fatherly ability delivered right to my door. Since that’s not possible, I know I have to find some other way to learn these skills. Here are 5 dad skills I wish I could order online.There’s nothing like the sound of a kid’s laughter when Dad gets on his hands and knees to play with them.
1. A Willingness to Get Messy
There’s nothing like the sound of kids laughing when their dad gets down on his hands and knees to play with them. That’s the sort of dad I want to be, but at times, I’m more worried about keeping things clean and in order. If I can more quickly dive into whatever my kids are doing, even if it’s messy, I can build lasting memories with them that we’ll all treasure.
2. Being a Good Listener
As they get older, I find my kids want to spend more and more time talking with me. Sometimes they want to tell me the story of their day. Other times they want to show me how they handled some problem they faced. Too often, I find myself thinking about my own life and problems rather than being totally present to my kids. Every time I do this, it’s a missed opportunity. That’s why listening is one of the most important dad skills we can have. If I can practice better listening skills when talking with my kids, I know I’ll have a stronger relationship with them during some of their most sensitive years, like when they’re teens.
3. Leaving Work at the Office
Like a lot of men, I take pride in my work. I want to do what I do well, to be recognized for it, and to know that the work I do makes a difference. Being motivated can make me a good worker but can also lead to overworking. If I can build a habit of leaving my work behind when the workday ends, not only will I get better rest, I’ll find more time to spend with my kids.
4. Teaching My Kids Effectively
Part of my responsibilities as a dad is teaching my kids how to do the things that I do around the house. Often, I find myself more concerned with getting things done quickly and efficiently than with teaching them how to do it. Instead, I need to allow my kids the chance to try mowing the lawn or painting. If I can learn to set aside my perfectionism, my kids will look back and remember the day that Dad let them try something new.
5. Asking for Help Sooner
It’s a well-known cliche that men never ask for help or directions. While this makes for a funny stereotype, it’s a horrible strategy in practice. There are moments when we all need some help. If I can swallow my pride and learn from those around me, I will become a better husband and father. I will also leave a lasting image in my children’s minds that it’s always OK to ask for help.
Sound off: What other dad skills do you wish you had?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What is something you wish you could do with me?”