Happy Dad’s Day!
Are you aware that the latest research, say in about the last 10 to 15 years, has reversed 300 years of thinking? We used to say that moms were the more critical caregiver as kids were growing up. But researchers now say that dads can have just as much influence, if both parents have an equal relationship with their child. It’s when a dad doesn’t develop that relationship that his influence drops significantly below that of the mom.
Dads, do you want to have a relationship of influence with your children? Follow these three keys!
First Key: Model God’s Truth
As you talk to your kids about God, you actually become God to them. As God would say, “You look at me all together as you look at yourselves.” So we dads need to make our faith desirable to our children!
One of the most marvelous things any of my kids ever said or wrote to me was at a fundraiser we were doing in Carlsbad, California. My daughter Heather was going from Biola University to Mexico, to work at an orphanage. She stopped by the fundraiser, but before the end of my second talk she had to leave. So she wrote a note and left it on the table. When I finished speaking, I went over and read it. My daughter had written, “Daddy, did you know that when I was a little girl, I always wanted Jesus to be just like you?” I couldn’t hold it; I cried in front of everyone!
Second Key: Focus on Building Relationship
Dads, rules without relationship lead to rebellion. Truth without relationship leads to rejection.
Kids respond to rules and truth in a context of a loving, intimate relationship. Have you tried grace-filled parenting?
Third Key: Don’t Just Talk, Learn to Listen
Dads, listen, listen, listen — and then ask questions.
And when your kids answer your questions, don’t be correcting them. Just listen, then follow their answer with another question, and then another question. An important question: how well do you know your child?
By learning to actively listen to what you kids are telling you, you will create a two-way dialogue that will keep communication flowing.
Dads, be encouraged! If you focus on these keys, you will positively impact your children!
P.S. Want to know my 7 A’s of Parenting? I’ve made a bunch of short videos in which I share these valuable parenting tips I learned over the years with my own kids. My seven tips cover the topics of Affirmation, Acceptance, Appreciation, Availability, Affection, Approach Their World, and Accountability. Check them out!
In our next post in the Journey Together series, let’s talk about the transformational power of relationships, and how they create a strong foundation for our kids.
Catch up: The introductory post to the Journey Together series.