How To Know If You’re A Successful Dad

  • 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.
    • Your kid is growing in self-awareness.
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It’s Okay To Think Your Kid Is A Little Better Than They Really Are

  • It’s a good thing to think your kid is a little better than they really are.
  • Don’t you want them to think you’re a little better parent than you really are?
  • Bad things happen, though, when you think your kid…
    • is worse than they really are.
    • is a lot better than they really are.
  • When you think your kid is a little better than they really are, you…
    • believe the best about them.
    • give them the benefit of the doubt.
    • can still see them as they truly are.
    • will go to bat for them at the right times.
    • will can build a genuine relationship with them.

Being Responsible For Your Child Versus Taking Responsibility For Your Relationship With Your Child

  • 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.

Dads Thrive At Work But Survive At Home And How To Fix That

  • Too many of us dads put in more effort at work than we do at home. Not good. But it makes sense. Work is easier for us.
    • We get desirable results fast at work.
    • We get short-term wins at work.
    • We get less honest feedback at work.
    • We get training and development at work.
  • The opposite is true at home:
    • We have to wait (maybe years) for results.
    • The wins come after a lot of effort and time.
    • We get honest, real-time feedback at home.
    • We’re never truly prepared for being a dad at any stage.
  • How can you fix this? How can you thrive at home too?
    • Save some of your energy for home.
    • Have a plan at home.
    • Set goals for home.
    • Get some training or mentoring from another dad.
  • You will be replaced at work. You can never be replaced in your role as dad.

It Should Be Easy To Be Your Kid

  • It should not be difficult to be your child…regardless of the age of your child.
  • What pressure does your child feel from you?
  • What spoken and unspoken expectations do you place on your child?
  • Do your words build them up or tear them down?
  • Do your actions set them up for success or failure?
  • Do you frustrate your child?
  • It should be easy to be your child.
  • The answers to these questions determine your present and future relationship with your child.

Pornography Is Okay Because You Know A Lot Of People Looking At It

  • We think… Pornography is okay. It’s normal. It’s harmless. After all, we know men who look at it…married couples who look at it…and, yes, women who look at it.
  • But… Pornography is not okay. What really happens when you look at it?
    • It turns your sex life into a script to be acted out.
    • It causes you to parent with a secret.
    • It objectifies the gender you’re looking at causing you to become cold towards them.
    • It makes you idealize the person you’re looking at…and no one (your spouse, significant other, etc.) can live up to the dream you’ve made up.
    • It controls you. You do not control it.
  • If you’re looking at pornography…
    • Tell someone immediately. Secrets only hurt you and your child.
    • Take drastic measures to stop.
    • Set up guardrails to prevent you from looking at it again.

Dads Are Better Than Moms At This…And It’s Not A Good Thing

  • Dads are better than moms at some things. Seriously…we are. Stop laughing moms.
  • Unfortunately, one of those things is frustrating our child.
  • Yes, we all will frustrate our child from time to time. No one is perfect.
  • But when a dad consistently frustrates their child it is a big deal.
  • How can you know if you frustrate your child too much? Your child…
    • avoids you.
    • has growing resentment towards you.
    • asks you to stop bothering them.
    • is emotionally exhausted around you.
    • is angry when you’re nearby.
    • always seems irritated.
  • None of the signs above leads to the type of relationship we want with our child now or in the future.

Talk To Your Child About Racism

  • It’s good to see skin color. God made each person a unique color with a unique story.
  • It’s not good to treat someone poorly or differently because of their skin color.
  • It’s not good to treat someone poorly or differently because they are different from you.
  • No one else is just like you…even people with a similar skin color as you.
  • Skin color is just one of the many ways you are different from everyone else.
  • A person’s importance, worth, value, etc. comes from the fact that they are a person…not their appearance.
  • We have a tendency to only like people who are similar to us…and that is wrong. And sad.
  • When you see someone being treated poorly or differently because of their skin color or something that makes them different…stand up for them. Defend them. Be their friend.

Dads With Addictions

  • An addiction cannot be stopped…or so it feels.
  • An addiction feels like a pleasure…but it’s really a way of coping.
  • An addiction controls you…even though you might think you control it.
  • An addiction is kept a secret…from someone.
  • Your addiction is affecting your current relationship with your child…even though you may think it is not.
  • It may prevent a future relationship with your child.
  • If you are a dad with an addiction…
    • Get it out of the darkness and into the light…tell someone who will help you get help.
    • Get help…you cannot stop on your own.
    • Realize your addiction has consequences.
    • Ask for forgiveness.
    • Realize it will take time, effort, and changes to stop your addiction.
  • If you know a dad with an addition, help them today!