Sunday here in the USA is Father’s Day. I know that not everyone has a good experience with their fathers, I was fortunate to be blessed with an amazing one. I have lots of good memories of growing up with him and know that he taught me a lot about what it means to raise a child well.
But as I’ve pointed out not every guy is a good dad. We all know dads who are amazing and men we wonder why they ever became fathers. But what I believe is that no matter what example your dad (or mom) set for you how you are as a parent is up to you. Let me say that again: you determine if you’re a good parent or a bad one.
The first thing that determines this is your attitude. If you have an attitude that you hate kids, they’re just full of germs and boogers and they’re a waste of your time I really hope that you’re using extra forms of protection when engaging in extra curricular activities. Your feelings about kids will not only make things hard for you, but for your partner and for your kids as well. No one really wants to be hated by anyone, let alone the person who had a hand in creating them. If however your attitude is one of being willing to learn and try your best, give it a try by babysitting some relative’s kids and make sure that it works for you.
The second thing I’ve kind of mentioned here is that the words you speak and actions you take will speak loudly to your kids. Your kids will need the reinforcement verbally and physically of knowing you are there, you care about them and you support them throughout their lives. Even if you work multiple jobs to make ends meet thanks to technology today there are lots of ways you can reinforce that at any time.
The final thing is love. Love can cover a multitude of sins, and make up for some of the bigger blunders we humans are known to make. Even if you can’t pay for your kid’s college, provide them with abundant luxuries growing up or set them up for life with a trust, your love of them will pay bigger dividends in the future. They’ll know what it means to be loved no matter what the circumstances in life may bring, which is priceless.
If you haven’t been a good father (or mother) hopefully it’s not too late for you to start turning things around. Use Father’s Day not as a day to receive, but to give this year. It will take time and effort, but your kids are worth it.
“Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.” Anne Frank