go the extra mile

How to Go the Extra Mile for Your Kids

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 once played out on a family trip to New England. While in New Hampshire, my youngest wanted to see a baby moose in the wild. Driving in an area supposedly highly populated with moose, we sadly hadn’t seen any, and my family grew restless. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I saw a female moose in a clearing. Seconds later, my youngest shouted, “BABY MOOSE!”

There, about 15 yards off the road, stood a beautiful, sweet baby moose. Going the extra mile worked out that day—and going the extra mile for our families is part of being a dad. Action always speaks louder than words, and the effort says to your kids that “you are worth it because I love you.” Here are 5 reasons to go the extra mile for your kids.

1. To Create Lifetime Memories

You don’t have to throw a Hail Mary hoping to see a baby moose to create a lifetime memory. All you need is to be determined to give 100% effort to your family. Holidays, family trips, and sporting events provide great opportunities. But the things your kids will 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. To Develop Their Brains

Building your kids’ 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. Our of Love and Respect for 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. To 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. To Model Goodness

Again, kids 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 toward 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.

Sound off: Share about a time you went the extra mile for your kids.

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Why is it important to give your best effort?”