“A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.” -Billy Graham
A dad has a big impact on his family—so much so that we should take it upon ourselves annually to review our growth as dads, so that we may develop fully and purposefully. A great dad doesn’t wing it but instead is intentional about being the best father possible. Self-analysis is critical to that success. Use this 5 point end of the year review to do it.
1. Were you a good teacher?
It’s our duty to teach our kids basic life skills. Reflect on what you taught them in the past year. Do they still need further instruction or reinforcement? Also, consider what you’ve yet to teach them, and make a timeline to accomplish that at the appropriate ages—how to shave, ride a bike, drive, fish, camp, and change a tire. There are many things to teach. How well did you do that this year?
2. Did you communicate enough and clearly?
Were you clear in your communication with your kids? Were you a good listener? The relationship between a dad and his children grows based on how deeply and clearly you communicate. Think honestly about your relationship with your kids. Did it grow deeper in the past year? How can you work on being a better listener?
3. Did you have healthy boundaries?Time goes by so fast and we need to take advantage of every minute.
Did you have a healthy balance among your family, friendships, career, and personal interests? Where did you spend the most time? Are you satisfied with the amount of time your kids were able to spend with you? Do you eat family dinners at the table? Does your family regularly do things together? How much time did you spend with each child individually? Consider your time this next year and plan carefully. Time goes by so fast and we need to take advantage of every minute.
4. Did you maintain a healthy relationship with your kids’ mother?
As the child of divorced parents, I can personally testify that the emotional trauma to children caught between two parents at war is torture. Sadly, it’s an epidemic in our country and as an All Pro Dad, you have a responsibility to stand up for the betterment of the kids. Is your relationship with their mom peaceful and respectful? It needs to be, whether you are married or not. If it’s not, you need to do whatever you can to find a working respect for each other.
5. Did you model manhood?
Your kids are watching your every move, and you are modeling to them what a man is supposed to look and be like. In the past year, what grade would you give yourself? Attempt to put yourself in their shoes, watching and listening to you. What do you imagine they see and hear? Do they see a loving, patient man of integrity who makes them feel secure? Or do they see someone unreliable and quick-tempered?
How did you do in your end of the year review? What did you do well and where can you improve? Remember, you are a work in process.
Sound off: Give us some of the ways you reflect at the end of the year on how to be a better dad!