Penn State. Aurora. The list just keeps growing of places where scandals and tragedies have happened. I’ve been in a solemn mood this week as my mind is still swirling with all that has happened.
I know these horrible incidents are part of a larger trend, or maybe an epidemic that’s out there. Sad as it is, there are many more people getting shot and more kids being abused that we’ll never hear about, and they’re all just as tragic.
I don’t know all the answers, but I do know one. And I’m sorry if this sounds redundant coming from me, but fathers are part of the solution. I believe sobering times like this only reinforce the need to take care of the basics. I can’t help thinking about the role of a father and how we impact people around us. Research is clear about the value of present and involved dads for children and families.
Also, being in the position that I’m in and interacting with dads from all over the place, I’ve seen the powerful influence that fathers have and the difference it makes when daddies are there for their kids. There are numerous times when my Pop’s presence and guidance made a major difference for me.
Earlier this week, I sat down and talked about this for a few minutes, and our staff captured it on video.
And for me and other fathers like you, “taking care of the basics” means Championship Fathering—loving, coaching and modeling for our own children, encouraging other kids who don’t have a dad, and enlisting more men to join the team.
I describe the importance of this in the video, with a story about how my Pop was there to protect me during an important turning point in my life:
How did these tragedies affect you as a father? And how did your dad (or another father figure) intervene during a key moment in your life? Please share below or at our Facebook page.
Action Points to help you be a good dad:
- Express your love clearly to your child. Tell him or her, “Even when you mess up at something or disobey me or go in the wrong direction, I might be disappointed, but there’s nothing that could stop me from loving you.”
- Don’t miss these opportunities to have frank, age-appropriate discussions with your children about abuse and potentially dangerous situations. (There’s lots of good information online, such as notwithmychild.org.)
- “There are no shortcuts to a great destination.” Try that one with your kids—with an example from your own life.
- Include at least one of your children when you run errands, so he or she can watch how you interact with people and make everyday decisions. (Also consider taking a child on an overnight business trip.)
- Is there anything on your family “bucket list” for the summer? Figure out how to make it happen during the next few weeks.
Carey Casey is the CEO of the National Center for Fathering, a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the culture of fathering in America by enlisting 6.5 million fathers who to make the Championship Fathering Commitment. NCF believes that every child needs a dad they can count on, and uses its resources to inspire and equip men to be the involved fathers, grandfathers and father figures their children need. Subscribe to his weekly email tip by clicking here: “Yes! I want tips on how to be a great dad who loves, coaches, mentors, and inspires my children.
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