A simple guide to having more influence in your kids’ lives.
As a dad, the influence I have in my child’s life is huge. My influence will speak loudly as my child becomes an adult. Having this much influence in shaping another person’s life is not a responsibility to be taken lightly. If you’re a dad, here are eight questions you should ask about how you are influencing your kids.
1. Am I setting a good example?
Like it or not, dad, you are being watched. My kid, especially a son, is becoming a mini version of me.
A father and his young son were driving down the road one day when the car they were following suddenly stopped. The dad slammed on the brakes causing everything the boy was holding to fly back in his face. Amid the French fries in his lap and drink running down his face and shirt, the young boy said a word no one his age should ever say. Dad asked, “Where did you hear that?” “I’ve been watching you,” the boy replied. Rodney Atkins’ song goes on, “I’ve been watching you, dad. Isn’t that cool?”
2. Do I express my love?
Tradition has taught men showing affection is a sign of weakness, but that is not true. Showing affection is actually a sign of strength. The most powerful statement a dad can make to his son or daughter is “I love you.” Every person has a desire to know he or she is loved, and hearing it from dad can be a life-changing experience.
3. Am I involved in my child’s life?
Take a quick quiz. What are your child’s interests? Mickey Mouse, tea parties, and dolls are the current interests in my home. It is not the most exciting stuff for a guy in his 30s, but it is not the activities that are exciting. It is the time I get to spend with my child and the opportunity to show my love which I find exciting. Value the time you have with your child and make the most of it. Taking an interest in your kid’s interests gives you the opportunity to teach a lot of life lessons.
4. Am I helping develop self-confidence?
Encourage independence, and allow your kid to make decisions and choices. This will help develop self-confidence which is vital to survival in life.
5. Am I teaching my child to have a voice?
Having a voice means you say what you need and speak up when you are not being treated fairly. Encourage your son or daughter to do this and be sure to listen when he or she does. This is most important if your kid is introverted or has special needs. Standing up for oneself is crucial to surviving in the arena of life.
6. Am I granting freedom to fail?
Many lessons are learned in moments of failure. It can be argued this is the hardest part of being a dad, but sometimes, giving a child freedom is best. Failure is one of the greatest teachers in life. Many of today’s successes are the result of yesterday’s failures.
7. Am I modeling respect?
Respect is learned by observation more than any other way. Take another quick quiz. Do you respect other people and their opinions? Do you respect individuals who provide services to you such as a waiter or waitress?
8. Am I teaching the value of hard work?
Booker T. Washington said, “Nothing comes to one that is worth having except through hard work.” Reaching a goal requiring hard work feels good. Hard work pays off. Encourage your son or daughter to work hard to reach goals and see dreams become reality.
How did you measure up? If you are not pleased with your answers, you can take action this week by picking one of the questions and changing the way you answer it this week. Share your experience in the comments below.
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