How to Keep Your Cool as a Dad

Keeping your cool is an important characteristic for any leader. When I was a coach, I prided myself on that. If the referee made a bad call, I would think, “That’s OK. We can get over it.” If something bad happened, we threw an interception or fumbled a ball, or blew a coverage that gave up a touchdown, I would respond with an attitude that communicated, “That’s fine. We just need to respond well with poise and focus.”

It’s the same way with your family, but it’s not as easy. Here is how to keep your cool as a dad.

Apologize when you lose it.

I lose my cool with my kids and my wife a lot more than I did with my players. Keeping your cool takes hard work. I have to tell myself to calm down. But one thing I’ve learned is that when you lose your cool, you have to apologize. “I’m sorry, (son or daughter). I didn’t practice what I preach.” “I’m sorry, Lauren. I lost my composure. I’ll try not to let that happen again.” Apologizing not only makes things right, but it helps us process why we lost it in the first place. It helps us realize our wrong so we react differently in the future.


One thing that has helped me is prayer. When you lose it, apologize, start over, and pray that God would help you. Take what you’ve learned from past failures. Figure out the things that set you off the most and pray and prepare to respond with composure. Praying can help our hearts changes. It can be an effective tool for renewal and focus. So if you’re finding that you continue to react in ways you don’t want, pray, and ask for God’s power to change.

Sound off: Do you know how to keep cool as a dad?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What are some things that make you mad?”