New Year, Better Dad

Dad: this isn’t about a resolution. (Unless you’re into that.) Whatever you want to call it, the beginning of a new year is a natural time to make a positive change or start a new habit.

And you should at least consider some ways to grow as a father.

Reflect on what you believe are some strengths and weaknesses in your fathering. What are the areas in which you could use the most help as you try to be a better dad?

Of course, we have a tool to help you in this endeavor, and this is where the shameless plug begins—although it’s a plug for a resource that we’ve made available for free. Just go here to get started and use the code: WELCOME.

If you’re truly serious about being the dad your children need, then this is a great step. This new profile will help you score yourself in seven key areas—what we call the 7 Secrets of Effective Fathers. There are even versions for your kids’ mom and your children, so they can score you and give you even more insights.

Start the year off right and take action to become a better dad.

There may be no more important decision you make right now. And when you do, keep a few thoughts in mind:

1. Be easy on yourself as you look over your results.

This tool is designed to give you a reference point for your fathering habits, but it cannot fully assess your heart and your desire to be a better dad.

2. Don’t ignore your strengths.

Acknowledge and celebrate those. Keep expressing them. They are benefits to your kids, for sure.

3. Choose 1 or 2 areas to work on.

If it feels like your fathering needs an overhaul, don’t get discouraged. Remember that there are no perfect fathers, and we all have a lot of room for improvement. Focus your efforts on one or two aspects and do your best there. Watch Ken’s short video about that challenge; do some reading and action planning on that topic. Even get help from your wife or a close friend. Once you get stronger in one or two areas, any others won’t seem nearly as daunting, and you’ll likely feel a lot more confident in general as a dad.

If you haven’t started your profile yet, you’re surely curious by now. Get started today and take steps forward with your children. (Use code: WELCOME.)

Do you normally make fathering resolutions in January? Share how it works for you and hear from other dads on our Facebook page.

Action Points & Questions for Reflection and Discussion

  • What’s your approach with New Year’s resolutions in general? Have you had success in the past? How long do they typically last for you?
  • Think back to when you were a brand-new dad. How have you grown as a father since then? Did anything specific motivate you to change?
  • Ask each of your kids if they want to make changes or do something different in the new year. Keep that in mind going forward and look for ways to encourage them.
  • If you do make a resolution as a father—or if you start working on a particular area based on your profile results—let your kids know what you’re trying to do, and that it’s all for them.
  • Take some time in the next few weeks to discuss and make plans for later in the year—vacations, special outings with each child, etc. Calendars will fill up quickly.

Watch the replay of the Fathering Breakthrough Event

Join Dr. Ken Canfield and a handful of friends and partners as we give an update about our efforts to inspire and equip fathers all over the world.

There may be no more important work than turning the hearts of fathers to their children, and that’s what this is all about. We’re seeking to repair, rebuild and restore effective fathering for the benefit of children and families everywhere.