How to Build a Father–Step by Step (Part One of the Fatherhood Series)
Men are not complicated creatures. If they’ve had an opportunity to grow and mature into men, the rest is pretty simple. Give him a mission and some space to work out his own way to accomplish the mission, and he’ll get it done. Fatherhood is no different for him.
Give him the title: Dad. Pop. Father, or whatever other title you decide. Give him his mission: Raise happy, healthy, well-rounded, disciplined children. And give him some space to figure out how to get that done. Then stand back. And, most importantly, resist all urges to meddle with his methodology. Let him decide how best to be a father. Let him decide how he will interact with, guide, and discipline his children. Do not try to alter his methods.
I’ll bet those last few lines made your stomach lurch, didn’t they? Well it’s true. I think what makes poor fathers is meddlesome mothers. I think what makes aloof fathers is nagging mothers. And I think what makes absent fathers is wives and mothers who drive those men away.
Now before you get your tail in a twist, I acknowledge that there are bad seeds in every bunch. Some men are just not cut out to be husbands and fathers from the start (just as some women shouldn’t be wives or mothers). Some simply don’t want to be there. I’m not talking about those. I’m talking about the men who set out to be amazing husbands and fathers and put their all into the job just to have their wives and sometimes even the children demoralize them and beat them down until they throw their hands up in frustration and quit trying.
There was a time when dad’s rules ruled. I believe we need to get back to that. Here’s why.
If you want your man to provide for your family and lead your family …
If you want your man to commit to your family …
If you want your man to put his family before his very own life . . .
then you have to agree to be lead by him.
You have to agree to commit to him.
You have to know and understand in your bones that to him, you all come before everything else.
You have to trust him.
And if you do that–truly honor him, respect him and trust him– he’ll give it everything he’s got. The man will die fulfilling his commitments to you.
If you second guess him, correct him, belittle him, reverse his decisions, sneak behind him, make his children question him, nag him, laugh at him, or ignore him, he will not know where he fits in to your home life, so he will steadily remove himself from it.
That’s how most men’s brains operate. Yes, there are exceptions, but the vast majority of men need to know where they fit into the family dynamic in order to take their role seriously. And once they know where they fit in, and once they know that you have placed full confidence in them to get the job done, they will move mountains for you.
As part of our fatherhood series, we are going to talk all about how to create a plan for parenting that you can both live by that will strengthen your bond as husband and wife as you grow as a mom and dad. But it all starts right here. Today. Ask yourself these questions:
Do you want a strong father figure in the lives of your children? Or do you want to make all the decisions and do all the work of raising the children alone?
Do you want a father figure who is mentally and physically available to your kids? Or do you want a man only on the periphery, merely providing a paycheck to help with financial support?
Do you want a parenting partner? Someone to help with frustrations? Someone to offer ideas and support? Or do you want to navigate the waters of parenting alone without anyone meddling in your decisions–be they right or wrong, good or bad.
Lastly, what are your biggest fears as a parent?
Think about those, and then move on to Part Two.
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