“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 one of my kids walks right past their mother (my wife) to come to me for help. I admit 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 (ironically as I’m typing this I hear our youngest calling my name from another room!).
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 five 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 to be loved by us. Even when we discipline our kids it should be in love. I admit when they do something really bad my response nor my discipline is in love. But when I’m able to slow down, respond with love instead of just reacting, I’m able to discipline them in love.
Showing up is your way of making a deposit into your children.2. Consistently Show Up
It’s impossible for us or any parent to be at 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
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 I’ll come to your game or your activity 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 begin with 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. Work with them on their schoolwork, their hobbies, and projects around the house. Play and work with your kids. It’ll result in a bond that builds more confidence in you as their dad.
5. Protect Your Kids
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, especially, spiritually.
When you make a habit out of the five things listed above, your kids’ confidence in you will skyrocket! That’s an amazing thing to cherish.
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What does somebody need to do in order for you to trust them?”