By: Matt Woodrum – Founder of Wrestling with Fatherhood
One of the most difficult things about fatherhood is that there is not a Manuel that telling us what to do or not to do that also tells us the impact that our actions will have on our children. This makes it difficult, as a dad, to be the best dad possible since we do not want to harm our children. We cannot instantly see how correcting our children will make that difference. Will our sons have anger issues if I get made at them for something they do? Will I drive my daughter away from the family because I told her to put more clothes on? How will these decisions effect my children’s lives and their relationship with their parents. There are typically two different ways that fathers parent their own children. We parent based on our feelings and how our own parents treated us.
One of the biggest down falls is that we parent based off of what our feelings are. This can be dangerous for a number of different reasons. The biggest reason is that our feelings can change from day to day. One day we might have a great day at work, while the next day may be horrible. As dads, we need to parent in such a way that our children know what to expect. If we expect chores to be done at a certain time, in a certain way, then we need to make sure that we set that boundary on our children. At the same time, if we have a horrible day, it is not right for us to expect more from our children then what we usually do. If we have a horrible day and do not expect our children to pick up their rooms on a typical day, we cannot all of the sudden be angry at our children for not picking up.
The second mistake that we often make as parents is to parent our children just like our parents raised us. There are several reasons why we need to develop our own parenting style. First, our parents made mistakes. I know, we all had perfect parents, however, we need to take the most important, good lessons from our parents and instill them into our own children. We also need to take the responsibility of being the parent ourselves. This means that we make our decisions on parenting, leaving some of the bad from our own parents.
At this point, the question becomes, how do I become a great dad. Here are several ways that you can improve as a dad.
- Make time for your children. One of the biggest things that children want from their dad is your attention. They do not care how much you work, how much money you make, or how much people like you. They want to know that they mean more to you then your sports, friends, drinks, or your own fun
- Respect their mother. This tip is often said a lot. That’s because its true. Every time they get to see how you treat their mother, you share your daughters how a men should treat them. You show your sons how to treat women. How you treat their mother, even if your divorced, shows your children something.
- Be a good role model. Do as I say and not as I do is one of the stupidest things you can tell your children. Instead, show them how to act towards other people. Show them how to talk to other people. Fathers are role models whether they realize it or not. A girl with a loving father grows up knowing she deserves to be treated with respect. Fathers can teach sons what is important in life by demonstrating honesty, humility, and responsibility.
- Teach your children. They want to learn. They want to learn from their hero. This person is you. Pass on knowledge that you know from what you have learned about life and experience. A father who teaches his children about right and wrong and encourages them to do their best will see his children make good choices. Involved fathers use everyday examples to teach the basic lessons of life.
- Show Affection. Children need the security that comes from knowing they are wanted, accepted, and loved by their family. Showing affection every day is the best way to let your children know that you love them. Don’t just tell your children what they mean to you. Show them. Show them by hugging them. Show them by kissing them. Show them by the different things that you do for them each and every day. Learn their love language and use it to pour into your children
What we, as dads tend to miss is that our children just want us. They want to know how special they are to us. They want to know that they are special. Our children need to hear more then just the words, “I Love You”, because without the action to back these words up, they become hollow words. Meaningless words.
Instead, take the opportunity to love on them and show them how much you love them. Show them how special they are to you. Use your time and energy to be present with your children.
Challenge Question: What do you need to do better on with your children??
This month my Guest Blogger for May 2018 is Matt Woodrum. Matt is the founder of Wrestling with Fatherhood, a husband, and the proud father of two girls (Ages 5 and 3). After an injury (broken tailbone) playing dodgeball, Matt gained a lot weight, from eating too much ice cream. Matt noticed that his weight was getting out of control when he maxed out at 275 lbs.! Eager to give his girls the father he never had, Matt decided it was time to take action. Matt has lost 20 lbs. in the last two months and looks forward to continuing his weight loss journey while helping others to accomplish their own health/weight loss goals. You can visit his website at http://www.wrestlingwithfatherhood.com