While scrolling through my Facebook feed, an image caught my eye. The image looked like what appeared to be a billboard or street sign of some type. The sign read, “Kids need Daddies. It’s easy to be a thug. Do something hard. Be a man, be a Dad.” Interesting to say the least. After first reading, I initially moved on. But then I came back to it. Yes, I understand kids need daddies, that’s obvious. The second sentence had me thinking, “It’s easy to be a thug.” Being a person who adds little to no value to people is easy. But being a person, a dad, who adds value is not easy.
Adding value comes in many different ways, but overall it will let your kids know they are loved, that you have their best interest in mind, and are always there supporting them. Understanding what we are supposed to do is not complicated, but it is not easy. Here are some simple, yet sometimes hard things we do as the father of our kids.
Discipline our kids
I fully understand what my parents, specifically my dad, used to say when punishing me or my brother for something we did wrong as kids. He’d say, “This is going to hurt me as much as it hurts you.” If I was getting a spanking or “whoopin'” as we called it growing up (my dad was old school), I couldn’t fathom how that was going to hurt him at all. Now, I see it differently.
It hurts to see our kids hurt or in pain whether that is a physical or emotional pain. It hurts even more when we are the person inflicting that pain, even when it’s for their good. While it hurts, it is necessary to discipline our kids. It’s teaching the simple concept that there are consequences for our actions, but it sometimes can be hard or hurtful to do.
Being present with our kids
My type of work provides flexibility and control over my schedule, plus the ability to work from home. My kids are also homeschooled so we spend a lot of time at home, more than most dads do with their kids. But being at home, sometimes in the same room with them, does not guarantee I am being “present” with them.
I understand the need and the importance of it. It seems simple, yet it can be so hard. There are so many distractions. Some like cell phone scrolling aren’t very important. But work-related or family finance items are very important. There seems to always be a tug-of-war between my time with my kids and my being present with my kids.
The concept teaches us that what we do has more of an impact than what we say or tell our kids to do.
Show it more than we say it
A good friend of mine taught me the concept of “more is caught than that which is taught.” Those few words have had a huge impact on me as a dad. The concept teaches us that what we do has more of an impact than what we say or tell our kids to do. It’s the lead by example mandate.
While we tell our kids how to behave, how to relate to others, how to be self-responsible, what we actually do doesn’t always look like that. It makes perfect sense and is a simple concept, but if we honestly look at our actions they may not line up. For example, if you walked into my office right now, you’d see totes, file cabinets, and a desktop overflowing with stuff. My desk is a mess right now. But I’m sure I’ve been on my sons and daughter for their rooms and the piles of stuff on their dressers. I need to walk my talk. I understand that but sometimes it is hard to do.
Yes, we all understand that being a good dad is not always easy, but it sure is worth it. Never give up, never let up, and keep striving to be the best dad you can be.
What is one of the hardest things we face as dads?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What is one of the hardest things about being a kid?”