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How To Be A Dad Today

Updated on January 23, 2013

The Need for Dad's in a World of Absentees

Recently I was searching online for some information regarding fathers. I discovered that there are over 16 million global searches a month on the phrase "How to be a Dad." That was amazing to me! Imagine 16 million people looking to the Internet for this information. To me this means one thing for sure. There are a lot of young fathers or fathers-to-be out there with inadequate information on how to be a Dad: most likely due to the fact that they grew up without a good role model themselves.

As sad as this is, it is also encouraging. I say it is encouraging because at least they are looking for answers! They are wanting to know what to do! Maybe in the years ahead, more kids will have a home with a Dad in it, and not just a Father. Wouldn't that be awesome?

For now, I would like to offer some advice for those Dad's searching on how to be a Dad today. I am certainly no expert, but then again, no Dad is! I would just like to offer you some advice that has been a help to me. You may find it useful as well.

  • Focus only on today. Don't try to figure out how to be a Dad tomorrow. You are only granted today. Don't waste it.
  • Realize that being a Dad means more than just being a Father. There is an old saying that goes, "Anyone can be a Father, but it takes a real man to be a Dad." That is true. The title "Dad" is given to men who take a personal interest in their kids and spend the time necessary to invest in their lives.
  • Recognize that paternity is not a requirement for being a Dad. There are many Dad's out there who are not the biological fathers of their children. Adoptive Dad's and blended families have given us a large group of men who find themselves parenting children that are not their own blood. Big deal! You can still be a Dad! Being a Dad is an investment of love and time, not an investment of DNA.
  • Commit to spending time each day investing in your children. This investment need not be expensive, or cost any money at all! Reading books, building with blocks, telling a bedtime story, saying prayers, and even just listening are all ideas that will make you a better Dad today without costing you a dime! If you think hard, you can come up with other ideas.
  • Find a Mentor. Mentors are very important if you desire to be a Dad, but have no personal experience or example to follow. Find a man that is the kind of Dad you want to be, and ask him if he would be your mentor. You might find this man at your workplace (look for men with pictures of his kids at his workspace), or church or synagogue. The mentor should be someone who is willing to be accessible to you and offer encouragement. They should be willing to help you be accountable. Remember, being a Dad requires an investment of time and a good mentor will help keep you on track.
  • Find friends who support your goal. The single guys at work are not going to understand your desire. They are single. They don't have any kids. Their goals and desires are totally different. You need to carefully consider your circle of friends.
  • Enlist the support of your wife. Trust me, your wife has a vested interest in seeing you become a good Dad to her children. Express your desire to her, and let her know what steps you have taken. Let her know that you need her prayer and support. Tell her that you know you will fail along the way, but that you are committed to becoming the best Dad possible. You will probably find that your wife will become your biggest cheerleader.
  • Be Patient. Rome wasn't built in a day. (Sorry for the cliche) Don't be hard on yourself. You have decided to attempt the most difficult but rewarding task of your life. If you stick to it, and take it one day at a time, you will soon find yourself helping someone else to be a Dad like you!

What have I missed? Are there any Dad's reading this article who would be willing to offer additional advice? I would love to have you chime in. If you are a wife or mother who has a unique perspective to offer, please join in as well. Let's help those 16 million men to be the best Dad's they can be today!

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