What makes a “good” dad?
Ruminations on Fathers' Day
Q: With Father’s Day happening at this time of year, I get down about whether or not I am a “good” dad. What can I do to shore up how I feel about myself?-Jefferson
A: Jefferson, the role of the father continues to evolve as society continues to evolve, which makes for an ever-changing challenge for us dads. We might see, hear or read something one week only to hear something contradictory the following week. Regardless of what is happening externally, what is most important, as you alluded to, is what is happening internally with how you feel about yourself.
Your “blueprint” for what a good dad is comes from a number of places including all the role models (real and imagined) you have been exposed to, as well as what your childhood was like. If your blueprint is some kind of “perfect” dad, then you’ll likely fall short almost every time. If your blueprint is poor, even mediocre behaviour seems good by comparison.
The empowering thing is you can update your blueprint any time by choosing attainable measures of what it means to be a good dad for you. Generally speaking, this includes being present, spending time with your children, creating memorable experiences, teaching them things, and most importantly, showing them healthy love and affection.
Whatever your blueprint becomes, you can update it from time to time, and as your children grow up, remember to be gentle on yourself. No dad is perfect, but every dad can do the best they can with whatever resources they have at any given time, while looking for new or better resources along the way. If you are feeling really down, chat with your family doctor about it or a mental health professional.
The fact that you are wondering if you are a good dad is probably an indicator that you are a good dad. Be grateful for who you are and what you have and don’t be too hard on yourself. Sometimes the best measures of being a good dad are smiles, laughter and hugs.
Combining over 30 years in the field of self-development, Rod is the CEO of the Certified Coaches Federation, one of the largest coach education companies in the world, and a speaker, coach and author. For more information on the Certified Coaches Federation, visit www.certifiedcoachesfederation.com and for more information on Rod, visit www.indestructiblehuman.com.
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