Being a dad is the toughest and most rewarding undertaking you’ll ever do. You’re doing everything you know to do as a dad. But if you’re like most dads, you’re wondering if you’re doing enough, being there enough, and loving enough.
But hold on. Dads do a lot of good stuff. I say it’s high time to give them a well-deserved high five. Here’s my “high five to dads” list. (If you see yourself doing or wanting to do a lot of these things, count yourself a member of the Good Dads Club.)
1. Dads work hard. No matter how boring the job or what the pay is, dads go to work every day to play their part in making sure there’s a comfortable place to live, enough to eat, nice clothes for the kids, and enough money for extra activities and fun things to do. If possible there’s a vacation every once in a while. And rarely do you hear Dad complaining.
2. Dads adore their daughters. A daughter thrives from her adoring dad. He notices her-maybe it’s how quickly she learns things or how well she treats others. He supports her developing passionate activities whether it’s a sport, the arts, or academics. Dad’s there to say “atta girl” when things go well and “I know we’ll work this through” when things turn south. The one-to-one time spent together every week proves to her highness that she’s really important to Dad. Oh, and he never forgets to notice her beauty inside and out.
3. Dads support their sons’ masculinity. “Dad believes in my ability to eventually find my own solutions to a situation” is the biggest gift dads can give boys, along with regular one-to-one time. Dads encourage their sons’ curiosity, experimentation, and need to conquer. And if their sons are competitive, dads find a healthy outlet for them. Dads make sure to mix toughness with gentleness and attention to expressing emotions.
4. Dads show love to their wives. Dads show appropriate affection in front of their kids, such as hugs, or a gentle kisses on the cheek. When there’s a disagreement, dads make sure the kids know a solution was worked out. (Kids develop insecurity and don’t learn problem-solving without seeing it happen with parents.) Dads offer caring, loving comments to their wives in front of the kids.
5. Dads teach strong morals and values. Dads make sure to teach what’s right and wrong to their kids. Firm discipline occurs when the rules are broken, and high fives occur with equal emotion when rules are followed. Dads walk the talk.
Dads, you’re doing a lot of things right. (The “high five list” might include some additional things you want to do by the time Father’s Day rolls around next year.) You’re a good dad. Happy Father’s Day.
Gary M Unruh MSW, LCSW has been a child and family mental health counselor for nearly forty years. During that time he and his wife, Betty, have been blessed to raise four beautiful children, and he is a very proud “papa” of seven terrific grandchildren. For two years, he learned a lot about what kind of care clients respond to best when he was the CEO of a mental-health managed-care company for Colorado Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
He has just published a book Unleashing the Power of Parental Love, now available on his web site, http://www.unleashingparentallove.com and all on-line and retail books stores.
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
See his “Tip-of-the-Week” Monday blogs on his web site for ready-to-use-right-out-of -the-box parenting advice.