By Sean Kavanaugh
So, I wrote an article several years ago for fathers. I stressed the importance of being an example, being aware, and teaching. I shared that if you leave any one of those three out, you miss the boat. Now that my kids have grown, this one is for all the new fathers, and fathers to be.
Take and cherish the awesome responsibility and opportunity that God gives you the second you find out you are going to be a father. I have seen the undeniable an incredible impact that your influence will have on a life that will most likely, God willing, last long beyond yours. At the youngest age possible, start creating habits and rituals and routines that will become tradition and legacy in your family. These are musts:
1. Create a family motto to put up on the wall and live by. Ours is:
– Do things to the best of your ability.
– Treat people the way you want to be treated.
– Have fun.
We didn’t realize until years later that our family motto is just a longer version of “Live, Love, Laugh”, which we did not invent, but it’s a great way to live.
2. Create the habit of reading with your kids every night, but only half the time. Have them read by themselves for the other half. Start this as early in their life as possible and stay consistent with it. Give them a reason to love it and look forward to it. If you get them hooked on reading at a young age and they stay with it, the results will be astounding.
3. Feed their interests: music, sports, fishing, etc. Doing whatever they like doing is a great opportunity for you to spend time with them, and share your influence. Powerful conversations happen here.
4. Start giving allowance and allocate it to chores. Teach them about money and managing it at a young age. And have them set aside a percentage for long term savings, one for specific savings, one for needs, one to be spent towards something fun, and one to be given to someone in need.
5. Have a “character trait of the month.” Every month, pick one to work on and with your child, together, find every opportunity to develop that quality. Embrace character – Pursue character – and Instill character. Because building a character is the best way to build self-esteem. Self-esteem is the core ability of everyone in this world to do anything. Just think if our leaders, our officials, our influencers, had better self-esteem. We’d have less greed, less ego, less selfishness, and better decisions, better values, stronger community, and all that makes a better world. As fathers, it is our responsibility to instill this in our children from day one. Let’s make a difference!! Let’s go!!!
It’s not every day we come across such a magnificent opportunity, but it is every day that we should seek it and make the best of the time that we have to influence our loved ones and generations to come. You are raising the future’s leaders, the future’s influencers, the future’s examples of character. So, take responsibility, embrace the opportunity, and God bless you for being the best father you can be. These will become lifelong habits, lifelong memories, and the lifelong fruits of your love.
Remember, no matter what happens in life, and no matter how much it costs, you will never regret spending time with your kids.
If you have not watched the movie, Courageous (2011), watch it sometime.
I wish you all a Happy Father’s Day!