“Daddy, why are my eggs like that?” my son asked one morning at breakfast. As he began to get worked up over nothing, his volume increased as he exclaimed, “I don’t want that one above and this one below!” A simple turn of the plate aligned the eggs to be side-by-side, and all was right in the world.
The only thing that changed in that situation was my son’s perspective. Even as adults, it can be challenging to solve a problem we’ve viewed from the same perspective for so long. Looking at something from a different angle can help us see a different solution. As we look from different perspectives, we gain more insight into what our family needs, ultimately helping us lead our family even better. Here are 5 perspectives that will help you on your journey to being a better dad.
1. The Perspective of Fun
As I was playing with my son in the back yard, he was having a great time playing swords with two sticks that had fallen from the tree. I kept trying to convince him to put the stick down and come hit some Wiffle balls off the new tee I had just bought him. He had been getting so good at hitting, I thought it was a great gift. If I’m being honest, my urge to play with it right now was probably an attempt to have him affirm my purchase and commemorate this great dad moment. Unfortunately, I missed a fun moment that would have meant even more to him had I fully embraced the stick fight. Our kids will continue to change their view of fun as they get older and their interests change, but seeing fun from our kids’ perspective will help create more fun memories together.
2. The Perspective of the Future
As a freshman in high school, I don’t think I could even think past the end of the school year. I was so short-sighted that I needed people to help me think about my future and understand how today’s decisions would impact it. Our kids’ perspective of the future will vary depending on what stage of life they’re in. It’s important for us to understand their perspective to speak about a future they can understand. Once we have that understanding, we can communicate more effectively and help set our kids up for a successful future.There are many examples of great fathers but there is only one perfect example.
3. The Perspective of Education
My mother-in-law was trying to teach our son the alphabet when he had just turned three. She couldn’t get him to sit still long enough to learn anything. All he wanted to do was run around and play with toys. Who can blame him, right? A few weeks went by, and I saw her outside pushing him in the swing and holding up flash cards. He was fully engaged in learning while on the swing. That moment inspired me to start looking at how my kids learn best instead of the most convenient way for me to teach.
4. The Perspective of Relationships
People say it takes a village it raise kids. And it’s true—our kids need more than just us. They also need friends, mentors, coaches, pastors, and teachers. It takes many relationships to build a village our kids can be a part of. Labeling the relationships in your world (friend, mentor, coworker, mentee…) and describing them to your kids will give them a greater perspective of the types of relationships they should have in their lives.
5. The Perspective of God
There are many examples of great fathers but there is only one perfect example. By knowing our Heavenly Father, we get to learn from the greatest example there is and then begin to share God’s story and goodness with our kids. Psalm 78:4 instructs us to “… tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders.” If you want to make the greatest impact in your family, seek God as a family.
Sound off: What other perspectives have helped you in being a better dad?
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What has been our most fun memory together?”