Happy Father's Day!
This day is important, no doubt. Very few of us make time throughout the year to show appreciation to the men in our lives that have had an impact on making us who we are. But for many dads, this day is also sprinkled with doubt, disappointment, and possibly guilt. Dads usually don't feel like they "measure up" and many haven't had a good role model to teach them how to do the dad-thing successfully. So I thought I'd share some tips on how to be a great dad not only today, but all year 'round.
Whoa. A mom telling the dads how to do their job? You're probably thinking....I can stop reading now. I know where this is going....
But hear me out. No guilt involved here, I promise.
The Goal: Put On A SHOW
- SHOW Up. Just be there for your children, and not necessarily "in person". If your children live with you or close by you, you have the luxury of presence. But lots of dads are long-distance parenting and have to find creative ways to connect with their children. I'm sure you already know this, but a phone call, text, message, card, whatever....something little that says "hey, I'm thinking of you!" In person, surprise your son or daughter with an unplanned trip for 1/2 price slushes at Sonic one afternoon. (There's a win-win for you!)
- SHOW Down. Not the confrontational type, but rather the playful, competition type. I'm thinking here of little boys, playing Wild West, with toy guns, rocks, and smiles on their faces. Kids love it when dads play with them...board games, baseball, wrestling, doll house, etc. And thanks to the fabulous powers of the internet, playing games can take place online also. A shared experience (even if you're on opposite teams) creates a connection and doesn't have to be an all-day affair.
- SHOW Out. Your children might not know of some of your hidden talents, so brag a bit! Tell them of your childhood, your interests, how you spent your free time, the things you most enjoyed when you were their age. Did you ever win an award? Compete on a team? Get a promotion? Have a personal victory? Relive those exciting milestones verbally with your kiddos. And if you have a hobby or sport you really enjoy, consider how you might be able to include your son or daughter in that activity or at least teach them more about it.
- SHOW In. Inside, in your heart. The area that most men guard the most. Obviously there's private issues that would be inappropriate to share with your child, but there's also a lot in there that they can benefit from. It's risky to be vulnerable, but you don't have to bear your whole soul. Share something personal (a feeling, a fear, a joy, a triumph, maybe even a struggle). Sometimes children forget their parents are human, too.
Up, Down, Out, In.....you're already an all-around great dad. Make sure you SHOW it to your kids.