We’re calling you to “Dad up!”
That’s “man up” on steroids. You know that you “man up” by being brave and tough when the going gets rough.
But you “Dad up” by being brave and tough for the sake of someone else. Someone who depends on you.
This fatherhood thing is bigger than other manhood events. It’s not about “the team.” It’s not about the boss and co-workers. Fatherhood isn’t a job you can quit. You might try running away from your family, but you can never un-father your children. You will always be their dad. Whether you are a good dad or a bad one, you will always be their dad.Fatherhood isn't a job you can quit. You can't un-father your children. Click To Tweet
Are you determined to “Dad up”? Then Choices Pregnancy Center is on your side. We want to help you lead your family with confidence, Dad. We have some great FREE resources for you. (Click here to learn more.)
Need the short version now? It can be summed up in this one principle:
If you can remember that, you’re well on your way to being the brave and tough (and gentle and fun) dad your family needs. Want a close-up of how that looks?
Protect them from common dangers. Work to prevent accidents and injuries around home. Pay special attention to safety precautions for your baby, particularly. Watch this slide show for important steps you can take.
Maybe those protections seem kind of obvious. Next we go more subtle.
Protect them from poverty. Do everything within your power to provide for their food, clothing, and shelter. When your family can count on you for these basics, you’ll find there’s more peace in your home. Everyone feels more secure. (And you made that happen!) You’ll find you’re raising your kids to be dependable people, too. So “Dad up” by working hard to meet the needs of the ones you love.
Protect them from themselves. While your kids are young, you can give them clear boundaries that will help them learn to live wisely and well. (Check out these links for our suggestions on when to discipline your kids and how to say no when necessary.) When you show your kids the difference between good and bad (or wise and foolish) behavior, you protect them from their own inexperience and impulsiveness, as James B. Stenson says in his sage advice for fathers. Kids need your direction, even when they act like they don’t want it.
And now, the protection that’s most important.
Protect them from feeling worthless. When you “Dad up,” you give your family a firm foundation for life. It’s a fact. Families in which Dad is present, involved, and loving tend to produce kids who are more likely to succeed in life. (Check out the story on that here.) How do you “Dad up” in this way? Try these steps:
- Show respect for their mother. Even if you are parenting separately, respecting Mom in front of the kids makes you look bigger in their eyes—and makes them feel safer. You do respect her, for example, when you talk her up, support her emotionally, and consider her opinions.
- Show respect for your children. Listen—really listen—and respond with interest to what they say. Treat them like they have feelings, too. Treat them the way you wanted to be treated when you were their ages.
- Give love to your family. Love includes appropriate affection–the kind of physical touch that conveys that they are special to you. You demonstrate love when you play with them, read to them, make time just for them. Love always puts their needs ahead of your own. Get a refresher on the many shades of love from our earlier post on the subject.
You can Dad up. You’re man enough. And remember, you can count on Choices. We’ve got your back.
You don’t have to do this alone, guys. Contact us to see how we can help you.