Do you want some expert fathering advice? Let’s turn to the real experts out there—the dads in the trenches.
We put out a question to dads on our weekly e-mail. It’s a question we also ask to men who are being considered for Father of the Year in several cities across the country. The question is, “What advice would you share with a young father?”
Those everyday dads sent in some very helpful insights—some wisdom that has made a difference or changed their lives as fathers. We can all be challenged and inspired by these.
Here’s what a father named Dave sent in. He says, “If you’re going to make a mistake, err on the side of spending too much time at home rather than too much time at the office. You can never get back the time.”
And here’s Mark’s unique contribution—a lot of wives will appreciate this one: “My advice for fathers of young children is to change all of the ‘poopies’ that you can—both literally and figuratively. Your child learns at a very young age who in their life can be trusted with the less glamorous or difficult tasks, and will bond more closely with those who help them through the tough times.”
And here are some thoughts from a divorced dad. He didn’t leave his name, but here’s what he wrote:
I have a 16-year-old daughter. Her mother and I have been separated and divorced since she was about 7, but I have promised to make sure she always knows how important and loved she is.
On the day she was born, she took my breath away, and I have never gotten it back. We are incredibly close. I made it a point not to leave the area where she was growing up. I lost my dad when I was 10 years old, and was not going to have my daughter lose her dad for any reason.
I’m one of those dads who goes to every soccer game, track meet, concert, or anything where she showcases her talents. I go to parent-teacher conferences and try to stay in touch with them all through the year. We must be involved in all aspects of our children’s lives. We are the caretakers of the future.
I talk to her about everything, and let her know where I stand on issues and why. I believe that if I want my daughter to find a better man than myself, then I must always strive to be a better man.
Children are a parent’s opportunity to help shape and create an opus, a ‘great work’ for the world to see. It’s an opportunity to present a productive and participating individual who gives glory to God.
If I were to advise a new father, I would remind him that our children are a gift of love from God, and that he wants us to be a part of his wondrous plan.
See, dad, you can reap the benefits of important life lessons that other dads have learned.
So, what are the best fathering lessons you’ve learned through the years? Other dads can benefit from your wisdom and experiences. Find a younger dad you can meet with and mentor—or send us your insights. Good fathering is contagious—and like this dad we heard from today, you can help us spread the good word.