How to Go from Being a Good Dad to Being a Great Dad?
My 12-year old decided he would grow tomatoes this year (he picked up a keen interest in gardening during COVID).
He made a detailed plan and researched seeds early in the Spring; after growing these carefully, he persuaded his father to build him a massive garden to grow these and other accompanying plants.
A good reminder of the basics:
- know what you want
- ask for what you want
- and you may just get what you want.
The story went from good to great when my son decided to sell the rest as a funder for Ukraine. Their dad then coached him and his sister on how to sell the extra plants (my son grew 47!) Their dad went around the neighborhood with the kids to help them with their "Tomatoes for Ukraine" funder.
Now my kids beamed with pride---they felt good that they could contribute. They got a taste of what it means to live a life of purpose.
Did you know that children who grow up with involved fathers are:
- 39% more likely to earn mostly A's in school,
- 45% less likely to repeat a grade,
- 60% less likely to be suspended or expelled from school,
- twice as likely to go to college and find stable employment after high school,
- 75% less likely to have a teen birth, and
- 80% less likely to spend time in jail.
Plus, fathers can be a lot of fun.
I asked my kids what they appreciated about their dad in light of Fathers’ Day and their responses are great tips for how to be a great dad:
1. “I like how he plays with us”
Take time to play with your kids. Go bike riding with them, play legos, play hide and seek in the dark with them, go camping with them (even if it's in the backyard). Play is kids' love language. Do you want them to listen to you? Invest in quality time with them---enter their world and they will trust you and want to listen to you. Plus, you’ll relax and have fun too!
2. “He takes us to the library”
Motivate your kids to read. You don’t have to like to read to do so. In the Ben Carson movie, his mom who was illiterate, demanded her sons read before they watched TV or played video games. Take your kids to the library regularly and have them read 1-3 books (depending on their age) before they play on the computer.
3. “He talks to us”
Take the time to explain things to them. Be the first voice of influence in their lives. There is a lot that can confuse children these days but if you take the time to tease out and explain things, things will make more sense and you will be the voice they trust.
4. “He is Kind”
Have a kind attitude with your children and this will set a tone in your home where your kids will want to learn. They will respect you when you respect them as well.
5. “He listens”
Listen to your children share their stories; talk about the latest thing they picked up and learned. Take interest in their world and, in turn, they will listen to you.
Take the time to be an active dad - go the distance!