Recently I was explaining to a friend that four of the happiest days of my life were the days my children were born. I had pure and unexplainable joy in those moments. And I can still remember being in awe of and overwhelmed by the task I was in for, each time I held that newborn baby in my arms.
While at the time I was thinking of my responsibility to protect and provide for each new little life, I didn’t know the many other roles of a father I was about to take on. When a man becomes a father, his roles multiply. Not only is he responsible for himself and the mother of his children, but he is also given the ultimate responsibility of raising another human life. This requires that he learn to wear many different hats and wear them well. Here are 5 important but easily overlooked roles of a father.
As a dad, you are at times a helper, a coach, and a friend. One of your jobs is to motivate your children toward daily productivity and healthy growth. I find that my kids are not always self-motivated to reach their full potential in character, discipline, and spiritual growth. So when I see that potential, this is where I often find the need to come in, sometimes creatively and other times firmly, to motivate them. Sometimes this is with ideas, incentives, schedules, or simply clear expectations.
Fatherlessness is a great concern in our society today. And one of the greatest disadvantages many kids in fatherless homes face is the lacking male presence and leadership they need. A huge part of having a father in the home is having an enforcer in the home. Like it or not, kids naturally respond differently to male leadership, especially in the family. Dad being the main enforcer of family rules and boundaries at home also makes a mother’s job so much easier.
3. EncouragerEvery child loves positive fatherly encouragement.
Because children are born with a desire for their father’s approval and attention, one of the best ways to encourage them is to be their biggest cheerleader and their greatest fan. Giving them regular compliments and positive reinforcement in the areas of their strengths can go a long way. I personally have seen the demeanor of my children change when I say encouraging things like, “You’re going a great job” or “I’m so glad you’re mine.” Every child loves positive fatherly encouragement.
There are lessons and life skills your child will never learn apart from being taught. Part of the role of fatherhood is training our children to be good at life. From learning how to ride a bike to knowing how to manage good relationships with the opposite sex, and everything in between, your child needs your intentional investment. Yes, it takes time and a bit of inconvenience, but it’s so worth it in the long-run.
Kids struggle too. Sometimes, as adults, it’s easy to forget this because their problems seem so small. Do you remember how small things were big things as a kid? Children don’t naturally know how to navigate the issues of life that are thrown at them. That’s because they’re kids—they’re adults in training. They regularly need direction, answers, and advice. Dad, strive to be your children’s chief counselor, their go-to for advice. Because they will get it from somewhere, so why not from you?
Sound off: Which of these 5 roles could you improve on as a dad?
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What is one way I could be a better dad for you?”