14562 days ago
I am very lucky, I had a great dad growing up. He was very active in everything I did, showing up to every sports game, practice, and anything I was part of or interested in. He even took me to Vancouver Canada when I was 12 just so that I could see orca’s in the wild. At the time I was obsessed with killer whales and wanted to become a marine biologist.
Funny story by the way, the marine biologist dream had two major death blows. I remember speaking to a Sea World trainer at Shamu Stadium, asking him how much the trainers made. He said about $30,000, which was low, but I felt I could overcome it since my love for the whales would make me rich in pleasure. Then the same trainer said that he had to go to college for 8 years. BOOM, the dream blew up, within 1 second after he said that, my entire childhood dream and plan ended. My next thought was that instead I would just have to become rich enough to buy my own dolphins. Not sure if I care to do that today, but that was my actual thought process at age 12.
My number 1 passion in life is my family, the household that my wife and I created. We have a 4 year old son, 3 year old daughter, and a 5 month old baby girl. Becoming a great dad isn’t as easy as follow these 3 steps or teach your children this… You have to choose to be a great dad everyday.
Here are some key thoughts and actions that I live by. Now these have to be more than just words, and honestly, I don’t even know if you can learn to do them. Hopefully, it’s just as natural for you to learn these powerful emotions and thoughts as it has been for me.
1. Caring more about the life success of my children than my own.
This will mean so many different things to each and everyone of us. For myself, it means that my business hours are limited and so are my hobbies that don’t involve the kids.
Any dad reading this who golfs, plays tennis, hunts, rides dirt bikes, & meets with their friends for drinks, plus works…I mean come on, what are you doing? Raise your kids and love your wife, grow up. As dads we should do everything we can to involve our children in our hobbies and fun actives. If the kids aren’t old enough, find ones that are age appropriate.
2. Teach your children everything you know and learn new things together.
Your child’s best teacher will be you, no other teacher will have more of an interest than you. Take your expertise and make sure you pass that along. Then as your child grows, learn about their passions as well. At age 3 & 4 my older two are already going on property site visits looking at apartments and sitting in the room while dad signs closing papers on real estate deals.
I am also making it a point to help my child learn about the things that I lack, like knowing how to fish, speak a second language, and do a few minor repairs around the house. Be sure to take your time while teaching them, giving them as much experience as possible.
The other day my son and I went around changing light bulbs. It was probably a 3 minute job that ended up taking about 30 minutes, but it was a great bonding experience as dad and son went around “fixing” things. Even if we did have a few light bulbs break while he was screwing them in.
3. Be extra patient.
Go into a house of someone who has adult children and you will see memories hanging on the wall. Pictures of play time, birthdays, and naked babies in bathtubs. For those with young children, be extra patient and encourage conversation. One day, not too long from now, these moments will be memories, so remember this time and enjoy it.
Don’t allow the businesses of life to take over your relationship, sadly I know parents who go to work when their kids are still asleep and come home just before they go to bed. Burning days with work and outside hobbies that don’t involve the children will one day be a regret, enjoy the little ones while you have them.
Summary: Pour out your heart and soul into your children, I truly believe raising kids is the best experience in life.