My daughters have enjoyed giving me difficult challenges over the years. They like to see if I’ll go the extra mile. This little game recently played out on a family trip to New England. While in New Hampshire, my youngest wanted to see a baby moose in the wild.
Action always speaks louder than words, and the effort says to them – You are worth it because I love you.Driving in a highly populated moose area, we, depressingly, had seen no moose and my family was growing restless. Suddenly, appearing out of nowhere, I saw a female moose in a clearing. Seconds later, my youngest shouted, “Baby Moose!!!” And there, about 15 yards off the road, stood a beautiful, sweet baby moose. Going the extra mile for your family is something to expect of yourself. Action always speaks louder than words, and the effort says to them – “You are worth it because I love you.” Here are 5 key areas that are critical for all dads to go that extra mile.
1. Create Lifetime Memories
You don’t have to throw a Hail Mary hoping to see a baby moose to create a lifetime memory. All that’s required is an attitude that is determined to give 100% effort to your family. Holidays, family trips, and sporting events provide great opportunities. But honestly, the things they’ll remember most are the times at home when dad was just being creative and available. Sheet forts. Tea parties. Allowing them to make you over. Giving them your time.
2. Develop Their Brains
Building your child’s intellect and knowledge goes far beyond the school walls. Reading to them regularly, helping with their homework, providing tutors if required, and teaching them life skills. All are part of going the extra mile to make sure our kids receive a full and well-rounded education.
3. Loving & Respect Their Mom
Both sons and daughters are watching like a hawk in how we handle the relationship with their mother. Our actions are hardwiring behaviors and expectations they will have in romantic relationships later in life. That’s an enormous responsibility. No matter your current relationship status with the mother of your kids, it’s essential that they see their dad loving and respecting her. Even in circumstances when it’s really difficult, go that extra mile.
4. Promote Financial Stability
Today’s family is quite varied in who and what is providing the main income. This should not be seen as a threat to manhood. You may or may not be the primary breadwinner, but you’ll always be expected to promote financial stability for your family. It requires living within a budget and saving. It’s not where the money is coming from that matters. It’s how it’s handled.
5. Model Goodness by Example
Again, they are watching closely, and it’s the actions of a man that show others (and our kids) who we are. Not our empty words. We dream of our kids becoming these wonderful people in the future. The path towards that begins with how they see their dad walking through life. Does integrity matter? Sacrifice? Hard work? Compassion for others? Giving? They will emulate what they see and learn from our actions. Going the extra mile for your kids can be wrapped up in one statement: You are second. Live by that.