My daughter’s mother and I have shared custody since day one. Because of our work schedules back then, my parenting time began at 5:45 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday morning. For the first five years of my daughter’s life, I rose at 5 a.m., drove to her mom’s to pick her up, and then back to my house. She may never learn of this, and that is OK. It is one of numerous examples of things dads do that no one else may ever notice. Nevertheless, we do what we do out of love and for the well-being of our families.
Does it seem like you pour and pour into your family but rarely get any recognition for doing so? I know we don’t do it for our own glory, but please be encouraged. Though at times it may seem like our efforts are futile, rest assured that your work is not in vain. Here are 7 things dads do that no one notices.
They follow through.
Consistency produces stability for children. Consistent dads have dependable schedules and work ethics, are home regularly for meals with their family, and contribute to their child’s morning or bedtime routines. Their children have stronger social-emotional skills and are less likely to engage in risky behaviors as young adults.Consistency produces stability for children.
Parenting requires being ready to adapt, modify, and switch gears at the drop of a hat. Fathers who have aced this virtue find ways to shuffle busy schedules to attend important events in their child’s life. They drop what they’re doing to fix whatever just broke or help with the most urgent need. These children see a father who is reliable, which builds their confidence and security.
Perhaps you’ve already read that book twice tonight and are completely drained from a long day. You rise early and stay up late to create margin for your family. You spend the entire fishing expedition untangling lines, fixing reels, and putting on bait instead of fishing yourself. Parenting can seemingly be a thankless job. We may not see it for decades, but small sacrifices on our part today help build strong and thriving adults tomorrow.
Coaching goes beyond sports, though that may be a part of it. Fathers who coach demonstrate robust life skills through their day-to-day activities. Our sons and daughters learn honor and value by watching how we treat their mother. They develop attributes such as compassion, kindness, and generosity by observing how we treat and speak of others.
They involve everyone.
This past winter, I watched the dad across the street hang Christmas lights on his house. His two young ones humorously hauled the strands around the yard with their little limbs. Though our children may not understand the significance of helping with Dad’s to-do list, moments like these teach basic life skills such as communication and teamwork.
They talk less and listen more.
A national survey once listed “listen more” as the number one wish children desired of their fathers. Even if a son or daughter has screwed up, let him or her explain. When kids are frustrated with homework, listen and then help them talk it through. Wait until you are welcomed into the conversation instead of forcing your way in. Be approachable. It all builds and strengthens the coping and problem-solving skills your kids will need in adulthood.
They lead silently.
The men who make generational impacts in their families have lives filled with thousands of subtle and unspoken acts. Your most influential moves as a father will be in the affirmation you provide, the discipline you enforce, the prayers you lift up behind closed doors, and the way you master all the everyday moments.
Sound off: What other things dads do often go unnoticed? Why should dads do them anyway?
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What’s the most important thing about our family?”