“Dad, can you come here?” “Dad, can you help me?” “Dad, can you help me with my bed sheets?”
All three of the previous statements I’ve heard from my kids. Well, I actually hear them frequently from my kids. The request for help often takes place when they walk right past their mother (my wife). I admit that many times when that happens, the response that follows from me is something like, “Isn’t your mother right there? Why did you walk all the way in here to ask me?”
But then there are those times when I pause before responding and think about what this means. My kids want me to help them. My kids need me to help them. My kids believe in me enough to help them. That’s a big deal, and something a dad should be happy about (As I’m typing this, I hear our youngest calling my name from another room! Perfect timing.). As dads, we want our kids to believe in us, to have confidence in us, and to feel comfortable coming to us in any situation. Here are 5 ways to ensure your kids believe in you.
1. Love your kids.
No matter what we provide our kids with, do for our kids, or say to our kids, they just want us to love them. Even when we discipline our kids, it should be in love. I can admit that when they do something really bad, neither my response nor my discipline is usually rooted in love. But when I’m able to slow down, I can respond with love instead of just reacting.Showing up is your way of making a deposit into your children.
2. Show up consistently.
It’s impossible for us or any parent to be present for every single thing our kids do. This is especially true in today’s busy world. But to make sure your kids have confidence in you, you must show up, and you must do so consistently. Showing up is your way of making a deposit into your children. When your deposits are more than your withdrawals, you’ll have your kids’ full of confidence in you.
3. Do what you say you’ll do.
I believe this is one of the biggest ways we fail as dads. We don’t always do what we say. This could be in the big things like showing up when you’ve said you’ll go to the game or recital to the small things such as getting them in the bed at the time you declared as bedtime. Honor every promise and commitment you’ve made to the best of your ability. Remember, not all promises involve the word “promise.” Just uttering the words is a promise in your kids’ eyes.
4. Play and work with them.
One good stereotype about dads is that we are the ones our kids go to for playtime. That could be wrestle time with your younger kids or a game of one-on-one in the driveway with your teen. But we also have to work with them—on their schoolwork, hobbies, and projects around the house. Playing and working with your kids will result in a bond that builds more confidence in you as their dad.
5. Protect them.
The day your son or daughter feels unprotected is the day you suffer a big blow in the confidence department of being a dad. This seems so obvious. Yes, if someone tried to physically harm our kids, we’d jump right in and do what is needed. But let’s not limit that to only physical protection. Protect them emotionally, relationally, and spiritually.
Sound off: What have you done to ensure your kids believe in you?
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What do people need to do in order for you to trust them?”