How to Be a Good Dad: Part 1
Whats In Your Head?
If you are reading this and you are not a parent, I would ask you to continue reading. Chances are that one day you will be a father, or mother and will come upon some of the same issues that we will talk about in this series of articles.
If you are a parent, this series is written out of love, and personal experience. I hope you enjoy and learn from what I have learned. You should take everything with a grain of salt. My situation will not fit everyone's, kids are different, and marital partners are different. That being said, you will face questions as a parent that you need to answer before you can be a successful parent..
Dads, the key to being a great dad is being selfless. Thats the key to transition from a father to the honored roll or dad. We start this series with ourselves. The methodology of "putting on your own air mask first" when the plane loses cabin pressure is closely related with what we are going to address first. Take a moment a complete the poll below.
Self Reflection Time
What Is your Main Mental Focus
Get Your $%!* Together
The first section is aptly named for the action that needs to be a daily task in your life. Do you have people you need to call back for work? Are you paying your bills on time? Have you carved out enough time in your day for your spouse? Are you going to start saving for retirement? Are you going into debt more each month?
I start with stressor questions to highlight what adult things every parent goes though. We all have hard jobs, we all need time to relax, we all need to spend time with family. We are spread so thin that many times we feel as if we are going to lose control and the whole house of cards is going to come crashing down around us.
if you do feel like you are going to loose it, I would suggest some mindfulness. See my other article here. ------> https://remedygrove.com/wellness/Mindfulness-With-Five-Different-Sounds
Before you start to evaluate the important things in your life, you need to get the clutter out and get your head straight. The stuff that does not matter needs to go. Otherwise, when you run into events and people that need your attention, you will not have the mental capacity to help and support those you love.
If I spend my evenings glued to the TV watching the NFL championship, I'm not accomplishing things that need to get done, therefore, I'm not cultivating friendships with my kids. GET OFF THE COUCH. This will open up time, your brain, and allow you to be in the moment.
We don't always need to have a digital screen, sound or device strapped to us, playing in the background, or in near proximity all day long. I call this "digital clutter" and it can be the worst kind. Constantly checking the instagram pictures you posted of your kids, to see if a bunch of people you don't talk to "like"(actually... help you validate) your life choices.
More time off line... More time to build relationships, more time to get your $%!* together, more time for the people that matter.
The most common argument is "BUT ITS MY WAY OF RELAXING AFTER A HARD DAY!". Great, Thats fantastic. Put a time limit on it. Can you watch something with your kids? Can they play that game with you? Can you do it when they are asleep? All questions dads need to answer. Teens see their parents engaged in the digital clutter, and they follow suit.
My wife and I recently went to our sons basketball practice. He was doing amazing. We got our phones out, took some pictures, they put them away. One of the boys on the team, lets call him David, could not get his mothers attention to show her what he had been learning. David then came to my wife for some positive reinforcement and she cheered him on, then he went on his way. This mother completely missed the moment. Glued to her phone. "BUT MAYBE HER OTHER KID IS IN THE HOSPITAL!?". I understand that certain situations require us to not be engaged 100% of the time. Just remember that we make time for what is most important to us.
Not only the digital...
Digital clutter is not the only beast in the room. Material clutter, addiction, over working, excessive hobbies, money, and gambling are all examples of things that get in the way of developing a REAL relationship with your kids. No you don't have to abandon it, but you need to possibly shelf if so that other parts of your life can flourish.
The same principal applies to everything. Does this activity allow you to focus on your relationship with your kids? Yes? Great, keep doing it! No? Time to evaluate the process. Once you do this you will start to see that your kids open up and enjoy spending time with you. It all comes back to the word of the article... Selfless.