3 Tips to help relieve the stress of being a Dad
By Donovan Grant
"What kind of a father do I want to be?" This is a simple question that all dads need to ask themselves from time to time. Just to check in with yourself that you’re still on track.
Do you get that sense that right now there seems to be a renewed emphasis on the importance of Fathers? You may even argue that there is no other job or challenge harder than parenting and one that you have virtually zero training.
This is why taking the right steps to serve your family even better is worth it, and will give you a less stressful time in the long run.
Today we are talking about giving attention, making decisions and putting in the effort— three fatherhood traits that can dramatically improve the relationships within the family home.
#1: Paying the Price
There isn’t a dad out there who could put hand on heart and say “I have never felt a bit lacking as a dad before.” There is no shame in that; it is one of the natural by-products of being a dad. It is not meant to be easy. If someone has ever told you that it’s easy to be a father, take it from me “they were lying!”
Here’s the thing that worries us most… when we don’t feel able to handle some situations; what do most people do? They avoid them or do nothing. When the same principle is applied in fatherhood, the result is that we don’t pay attention to the things that really matter – our children.
The secret here is to not let what you can’t do get in the way of what you can do as a father. Don’t hide from the problems, conflicts and challenges that are part of being a good dad. Face them head on – and give the children the attention they deserve.
#2: Father’s Choice
Have you ever found yourself saying “go and see your mum about that?” I’ve said it a ton of times myself; when my son fell off his skateboard, when my daughter wanted to go out partying for the second night in a row and even when two siblings were quarrelling over whose turn it was to wash up the dishes!
When we pass on the responsibility for making decisions we give away our power. We lose the chance to make high priority calls on behalf of the family. In fact we give away part of the responsibility of being dad.
There is no magic decision making method that will solve your problems for you. So it’s time to look at making decisions through fresh eyes. When you focus on the right things, ask the right questions, you’ll make the right choice. It’s time to go past the easy option and make the choices that will bring growth to you and your family.
#3: Worth the Effort
We’ve all heard the expression “what you put in is exactly what you get out.” This statement is true in many situations in life and is especially important in fatherhood. If you put in love, honesty and respect to you children, you’ll get love, honesty and respect back from your children. Equally, if you put in anger, dishonesty and disrespect that is what you will get right back.
The bottom line is that it takes effort to be a dad. The secret is- you feel better about fatherhood, the more effort that you put in. The feel good factor and the effort go hand in hand and in the end the results will show through your children.
Even when you don’t feel like your efforts are making a difference – keep going.
They do make a difference and in many situations it will take longer for you to see the results on the surface. I can remember when Jen and I were worried that our daughter was heading down the wrong path and going against most of the family values. Those were tough years to be a dad. I genuinely felt stuck in a rut. But when I see her as an 18 year old now, I can appreciate the lessons that I learnt through being patient. It pays to keep believing and putting in the effort no matter what.
Sometimes we dads may not wish to admit it, but subconsciously we are looking for direction on how to improve our fathering so that we can have a better impact with our children. By following the simple tips and outlined here, parenting can become a more exciting and less formidable role for every man who is a father.
The word to all dads today is that the eyes of your sons and daughters are always on you, as a father. If they don't learn from you, they will pick someone else to learn from! Be the best dad that you can be.
Let's start equipping men to become better fathers today!!
Donovan Grant is a coach, mentor, blogger, speaker and IT professional who brings his wisdom of parenting for the last 21 years and coaching clients through the stages of raising youth and empowering leaders with life lessons that are changing generations. He is a passionate and committed leader who believes that we all have the ability to help to change someone else’s life. Actively doing so as a catalyst for many years he teaches how to live a life of success, balance, integrity and fun, whether at work or at play. www.donovangrant.com