march dadness

March DADness

Excitement, emotional roller coasters, surprises, disappointments, upsets, success, and unforgettable moments. Those words are a short summary of the NCAA College Basketball National Tournament, also known as March Madness. Those exact same words can also be used to describe fatherhood. Much like March Madness, the things we experience in fatherhood represent some of the highest highs and lowest lows we’ll have in our lives.

Similarly, we will not forget many fatherhood experiences. While March Madness only happens during March, March DADness is an everyday, year-round thing. It takes special players and teams to win the NCAA Championship, and it takes special men to win in fatherhood. Here are 7 ways you can win in fatherhood.

Don’t doubt. Some dads shy away from doing the things dads do or living the “dad life.” They doubt they are cut out for the job. Well, you are cut out for the job. Don’t doubt it and boldly be the dad your kids need.

Apologize when you mess up. The best thing we can do is own up to a mistake and show how we’ve learned from it.

Discipline them and be disciplined. It’s hard to discipline someone when you aren’t disciplined. If my shoes are laying in the middle of the floor, I won’t have much credibility with my kids when telling them to put their things away.

The time to have fun and enjoy your kids is now, not later.

Now, not later. I remember a story about a dad who had a young baby. He said, “I can’t wait until my kids are older so we can have some fun.” The time to have fun and enjoy your kids is now, not later. The minute you become a dad, make the most of every minute with your kids.

Encourage them with words. “I love you.” “You are awesome.” “You are so smart.” “I enjoy spending time with you.” Those are music to your child’s ears and one way you win at fatherhood.

Support them. You win by showing up at your kids’ activities and events. You win by being actively engaged with their education. You win by making sure they know you are with them 100 percent.

Spiritual foundation. This is one of the most important ways you win in fatherhood. Helping your kids establish a foundation that will guide the choices they make, shape their worldview, and give them something to stand for is a winning strategy.

Sound off: What’s one of the best memories you’ve had as a father?

Huddle up with your kids and tell them one of your most memorable moments with them.