To find happiness Walt Disney said, “A man should never neglect his family for business.” Oil Tycoon J. Paul Getty said “I hate to be a failure. I hate and regret the failure of my marriages. I would gladly give all my millions for just one lasting marital success.” And, U.S. President Bill Clinton said “The single biggest social problem in our society may be the growing absence of fathers from their homes and children.”
In an article found in the website of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Population Affairs, we are reminded and too familiar with the statistics of being raised in a fatherless homes; at JSI Research and Training Institute’s conference, moderated by, Gilbert Chavez, 06-10-09, he reminds us that fatherless homes are:
- 5 times more likely to commit crimes,
- 9 times more likely to drop out of school
- 20 times more likely to end up in prison
- Forty percent of all children born in America today will be born to unmarried parents.
This article focuses on how we as fathers can be a #Gooddad to strengthen our relationship with our children and spouse.
First and importantly a family starts at home with a good husband or father who loves God and sacrifices time and resources for their spouse and children. This is a cornerstone and foundation of a good family. It’s not about how much money we make or how active and recognized we are in the community, instead it’s about the quality time spent with our children and how we lovingly encourage, teach, discipline, and empower our children.
Here are some Ideas for Husbands, #Gooddads, and Parents.
- Come to agreement that you place your wife/spouse and children as the most important part in your life. The material things in life – although very important – will be taken care of even when we often just don’t see how it will all work out. Dining out, a new television, computer, car, a second car, another promotion at work, a boat, social clubs, an airplane, etc… are not as important as a healthy close knit family and it’s not the “bling” at the end that makes you sing.
- We make sacrifices for our spouses and children, we give up on “my turn” for them, “my turn” will eventually come up again. Remember what J.P. Getty mentioned? … he regretted ALL his failed marriages and would give up ALL his money for one successful marriage, all his riches did not bring him peace and happiness, he could not buy what he cherished. Work six days a week and try not to work seven days, instead, have a guiltless day off… one day off will rejuvenate yourself and others around you.
- We will not judge our spouse and will accept them as they are, differences and all. Not accepting their differences and arguing with them while having or hiding your own faults may lead to the break up a marriage and family.
- Hug your spouse and children daily, they love and need to hear .. “I Love You”; you may share a small gift, or leave a small note. Those three simple words are magic when they come from your heart. Your agape love heals, rejuvenates, builds a family, and strengthens humanity.
- Dads, when children come into your life, make changes in your routine to be with them, and to help your wife raise them. You can include the children in your events, so that they don’t feel rejected. It’s important that you help with the feeding late of nights, change the diapers, take the children to the doctor, read to the children, play with them, discipline and don’t enable them and spoil them, take them to the sports or hobbies they enjoy, go to the parent student conferences, attend their practices, go camping, travel together, and those fun things in life. The children want and need you in their lives and they will follow you, or they may run away from the home.
- Help around the house with chores, especially when both parents work. Teach the children to have their share of the chores; surprisingly the work gets done and there’s more time for other activities.
- Teaching takes time and patience, and when the children learn they become productive members of the family and the home runs more smoothly. Teach them chores, show them good values, help with their school’s homework. It was gratifying to see in Honolulu Magazine’s May 2010, Mililani School had the highest ranking of over 250 schools in Hawaii, and not surprisingly parent participation they ranked the best in Hawaii and the school did extremely well national quantifiable test scores; this was contrary to the school with the lowest parenting rating and was ranked the worst of the schools in Hawaii.
- Know that each of your children are different, encourage them in their own interests and watch them grow, help them find their way in life and let them live their lives, as parents we are there to encourage them and pick them up when they fall. They will find their way when we let them fall, cry; then hug them, and say,”It will be fine and you’ll get that right on your next try”.
- Along life’s path, suffering will occur, you’re not alone, when our children see us suffering, they learn to get through the suffering too, we teach other not to give up.
- Take the children out for treat for a job well done, we like rewards that we earn.
Starts at Home was started at pot dinners at Carl and Amy’s home on the second Tuesday of the month, they featured a speaker and gave parents a chance to ask questions. The gathering starts at 5:30 pm and ends before 8:00 pm. If you’re in Hilo, Hawaii, you were welcome to come.