People, for the most part, like to give and receive recognition. We equate the medals and trophies with being the best, the most views with being the most relevant, and the most likes with being the most popular. While in today’s society, bullshit gets thousands of “likes,” positive, productive and active black fathers and father-figures go unrecognized. Father’s Day is a time to recognize those fathers who deserve to be celebrated.
Here are 10 things loving fathers do for their children:
- Loving fathers… love their children’s mother
You might not be married (or even on the best terms), but there is a certain level of respect and appreciation of the woman who carried your children. If you don’t quite see eye to eye, still treat your children’s mother with some regard, even if it is not reciprocated. Your children will remember a man of valor… despite the challenges.
- Love them unconditionally
Make sure that your children know you love them no matter what. Unconditional love does not encourage the wrong kind of behavior. Unconditional love translates into a stern stare down or even a swat if necessary, but always done out of love. Children who are secure in their father’s love tend to act out less.
- Grow up
Children don’t need another buddy; they need a dad. Nothing wrong with having a good time, but kids want someone who thinks things through, makes tough decisions and engages life with responsibility. Someone they can count on.
- Be present and accounted for
“Quality time” is all well and good, but it has nothing on quantity time. Of course, within the today’s modern family, there are many time challenges and constraints that may need to be overcome, but all kids know is either you’re there or not there. Make the time and make the time count.
As best you can. When a man has sometimes multiple families, a new wife, or even perhaps no job, sometimes things go undone. But these things should not be your children. Material things may be hard to come by, but you can always provide a stable environment with love and affection.
Balance is essential. Children appreciate an even hand, accountability, and love-filled discipline. As an adult, I can’t tell you how much gratitude I have for those times I thought I wanted to do something and was not allowed. This goes hand in hand with Number 3. We should be setting our children up for success and discipline is a strong part of success.
- Value education
Don’t just read to them; read with them. Don’t just fuss about grades; get involved with their homework. Don’t just talk about learning; be a hands-on advocate. And what better example is dad getting involved with his own education as well. It doesn’t have to be a degree program, but we should be consistently learning and maturing.
- Raise them to leave
The simple goal of being a family and parenting our children doesn’t look any more complicated than this: “Raise them well equipped to leave home and to establish fruitful lives.” – it’s just that simple!
- Teach them to take responsibility
Kids who learn how to duck responsibility and avoid cost will – sooner or later – fall flat on their faces. Loving fathers make sure their children know how to own up, clean up, and move forward. This principle can foster and sustain a comfortable outlook on life overall.
- Teach them to love this life
The best predictor of happiness in children is happiness in their parents. If we learn how to love this life and then give that blessing to our kids, they will be well prepared for satisfaction.
Let’s take time to celebrate our dads, stepdads, granddads, and father-figures as well as those brothers, uncles, church members, and godfathers who have stepped in and help foster development in our kids and ourselves. Happy Father’s Day!