Men: If you have kids, then at some point you have probably wondered what your role as a dad supposed to be. Is it to make your kids into something specific? Is it to make your kids fit a certain specification? Is it to teach them certain values? Is it to teach them certain knowledge?
A dads role is so much like a coach or a teacher. Better yet, like the teacher you had in high school who was also your team’s coach after school. The one where off season you would stop in his classroom after school to visit and he’d have some treats to share with you. This kind of man makes youth want to be around because they feel accepted and cared about. As a dad, you need to love your children, you need to teach them in the ways of life and you need to coach them to become the best that they can be. Often this doesn’t seem like enough though.
Do you struggle thinking there has to be more to it? Possibly you are assuming that if you do everything perfect (which you won’t…trust me) then your children will turn out exactly how you expect them. Newsflash: You can’t program your children! They will never be exactly what you want. If they were, they would be very unhappy.
Your role is easy. The task is not. No matter how hard you try, a child has their own free will in the end and you have to stay focused simply on what is your role instead of what is the outcome. Men want to think about the end result and dads can easily spend way too much time trying to create the end result instead of focusing on the role they play in getting there. If we stay focused on our roles instead of our goals then discouragement won’t have as strong a grip on us through the process of raising our kids. Do you claim that you will love your child no matter how they turn out? Then the love, teaching and coaching you give them will show that to them without having to say a word. Do you focus all your energy on trying to make them to some exact specifications? Then they will simply hear that they are never good enough.
Your role as a dad is one of the most important relational aspects in the world. Focus on being the one who loves, coaches and teaches instead of demands. Have fun with your kids along the way. When it’s time to be serious, be serious. Don’t let the results or the anticipated results stop you from doing your best at the role you’ve been given. And remember, no matter how hard you try to be the one and only role in your child’s life, they will have many others. It’s best not to compete but to be the best at the role you have.