Your kid is sitting in the dirt playing with rocks or…watching Netflix or…playing backyard football in the rain or…FaceTiming with a friend or…doing homework or…
How do you know if you’re being a successful dad?
If you define success one of these ways, you’re not going to be successful:
Your kid is happy. If your kid’s emotions determine your success, well, good luck with that.
Your kid has more than you did when you were young. Whenever stuff is your measure of success, you will never have enough stuff.
Your kid gets to experience everything that comes their way. Experiences are great and often create memories. But too many experiences can create kids who do not know how to be content with normal life.
Your kid tries to be perfect. When your goal is an imaginary goal, you will miss it every time.
If you define success one of these ways, you’re going to be successful:
Your kid is living out the values you fight for in your family.
Your kid is moving towards independence when they reach 12th grade.
Your kid is not stressed out by the pressures of school, athletics, relationships, creative arts, work, home life, etc.
You are responsible for your child. You kinda have to be…legally speaking. At least for 18 years or so. You provide them with food, shelter, clothing, etc…the necessities.
You (me too) even pat yourself on the back (post about it on social media / remind them when they’re in trouble) when you’re extra responsible for your child…you provide a nice yard, send them to camp, pay for an amazing experience, buy them the latest electronics, dress them in really nice clothes, etc.
But do you take responsibility for your relationship with your child?
What are you doing to grow the relationship between the two of you?
What conversations are you having to better your relationship with them?
None of the extra stuff lasts. Actually, most of it will be forgotten.
Your relationship (or lack of relationship) with your child will last for decades.
If you don’t take responsibility for the relationship, they won’t. They’re a child.