The Secret to Being a Great Dad
Have six kids, ages ranging 14 to 38 years old, I have tons of parenting tips. But while I am not the perfect father, I have learned that my biggest tip is the secret to being a great dad.
I’ve learned to pay attention, to give them space, to accept them for who they are, to be a guide and not a director, to help them through teachable moments, to help them visualize a life beyond the life they’ve lived, listen to their concerns, to give hugs when they are in pain and hugs at moments of triumph, and set boundaries with consideration for their productive growth.
I know that’s a lot to learn and a lot to take on at once.
So, I’ve boiled it down to this one Great Secret and daily practice.
“Appreciate your child’s love for you!”
Do this every day, whenever you see or hear your child, and even when they are not around. This love for you is a gift, and it manifests itself in so many ways. In the way they want your attention, your affection, your approval, your pride in what they do. Their wanting to spend time with you.While they watch you to see how to live life. How they learn from you whenever you talk to them.
This daily practice, of appreciating their love for you, will make your life better. It will help you be the role model they need, because someone who appreciates the love of others is a beacon of gratitude and humility and mindfulness.
When you appreciate their love for you, you realize that you have a boundless source of happiness in every moment. You are a boundless source of happiness for them.
No matter what happens, from tantrums to heartbreaks to injuries to rejections, this love is there for you. I am so grateful for the love of my children.
My children look up to me, and I in turn learn from them. My children are talented, funny, unpredictable, curious, affectionate, and fun. I am lucky to have them in my life, and I wouldn’t be the man I am today without them.
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