What it Means to be a Father

Lately, there have been a number of situations regarding the fathers in my life; which, for the sake of my family and our relationships, I cannot divulge here; that have prompted me to think critically about what it means to be a father: What are the qualities of a good father? How does a good father act? How does a good father spend his time? How does a good father treat others, especially his wife? Essentially, how does a good father not just play the part part, but BE a role model?

To me, a good father spends time with his children. He reads to them, plays with them outside, takes an interest in what they do even when he's not interested in the activity. He is firm and expects obedience and good behavior, but is also caring, kind, loving, and playful. A good father does not raise his voice, but he does not often relent on his decisions. Once children are old enough to understand, have opinions, and make sound arguments about decisions, then a good father at least listens to his children and considers their desires. However, in the end the father makes and sticks with a decision, all the while expressing love and respect.

Even though I know many answers to these questions, at times I do not or am not able to fully comply with them. It is that struggle, however, that makes me a good father: I know what the ideal is, even though it is perhaps impossible at all times and there are certainly few role models, and I strive to meet it.

One consistent and powerful presence that helps me to attain that goal is my wife: She gently reminds me of what it means to be a good parent; she reminds me that I have good qualities; she supports me when I'm down. I believe firmly that if she were not here, I would not be as good a father as I am, and for that, I am eternally grateful, and I honor her role in my life. Thank you, Kyra.


Chris said...

Karen said, via Facebook:

I like this. I also think a good father makes mistakes. Show their child that we are human who do some things right and some things wrong. By making mistakes, a father can show humility as well as the hard learned lesson of suffering the consequences of your actions with dignity.

Chris said...

Sharon said, via Facebook:

I like this too... it is so you. Keeping an open mind and realizing everyone on this earth is human is a hard concept to wrap any mind around. With your children you want to be perfect and right all the time, not possible. It is true that making those mistakes can show your child that you also learn lessons every day, and so will they. You are a very lucky man to have such a great wife... hence a wonderful family in the making!

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