No one is perfect. No mom has all the answers. No dad has ever been mistake free. No grandparent knows it all. No two kids can be handled the same way. All we can hope to do is to minimize our mistakes as parents. My experience has taught me that mothers are much more likely to take steps to minimize their parenting mistakes than fathers. This doesn’t mean that fathers are generally bad or lazy parents. It simply means, to me, that men and women are different.
Most assuredly, I made many mistakes as a father of young children.
- I spent too much time at home on work-related issues or thinking about work.
- I often listened to sports talk radio instead of talking to and listening to my children.
- I should have taken my children to the park more often to get exercise and play.
- I failed to expose my kids to some experiences like camping, or hiking.
- I didn’t help my wife enough with taking care of our children’s physical needs.
- I didn’t always reason with my children (“Because I said so!”)
- I should have asked more questions about being a dad.
However, I did things that my dad never did. The most important of which was to be there for my children and to show unconditional love. It seemed to work because my wife and I were very fortunate to have raised loving and contributing citizens. This allowed me to make some comparisons with my childhood, looking at fatherhood from the view of a child, and as a father trying to understand what generally works in parenting--and what fails.
The best mentors in life are those with experience, both good and bad, who pass on their knowledge and experience to others. This doesn’t prevent mistakes by those being mentored, but it can help those mistakes to be minimized. It was my purpose to be a ‘Dadhood’ mentor, not pretending to be a parenting expert, because that is not what I am. Of course, I read many parenting expert books, but I tried to understand them as a real dad and compare them to my experiences.
My book, “The Power of Dadhood” is a mentoring book. A dad-to-dad talk about raising kids and how important dads are to their children and their children’s futures. Many thoughts in the book came about because of things that worked for me, or things my dad or I did wrong or mishandled. Any father that reads it will find themselves in future situations, hopefully discussed in the book, that just may help them feed the animals, get the animals to get along better, and help you raise both, a lamb and a lion, or a flamingo and a gorilla.
Minimize your mistakes in fatherhood by maximizing your preparation and understanding!