Father’s Day

This was originally posted by the Marion & Polk Early Learning Hub here.

To me Father’s Day is one of the best days of the year! I always see it as an opportunity for me to celebrate the blessing of fatherhood by doing something fun with my kids. From going fishing with my son for the first time to camping to going to the Lego store together we’ve had lots of good Father’s Day memories and I’m looking forward to making more this year!

In addition to my love for being a dad, I also have a passion for engaging with other dads: encouraging and supporting each other on this journey as we strive to do the very best for our kids. So this Father’s Day, I wanted to write about a few things that I have learned that have really helped me be a better dad and that I want to share with all the dads (and any parent!) out there.

Presence – Being present and engaged with my kids is one of the best gifts I can give them. They love their toys and going out to do fun things, but over and over again what I’ve seen they crave the most is my attention and love and knowing that I am there with them in that moment. I’ve got to be honest, this can be very difficult to give some times, but I have noticed that my kids and I are so much closer and they enjoy life more when I give them my full attention.

Modeling – Kids see and understand so much more than we give them credit for and they are watching our every move to see if what we say matches what we do. If we want them to apologize when they make mistakes we have to show them how by doing the same. They will follow our lead in how they treat and talk to other people. They will follow our lead in how they treat and talk to themselves. We can have a profound impact on their self-esteem simply by modeling how we take care of ourselves.

Love – Telling them, showing them and finding out what makes them feel loved. Kids need to hear affirmations over and over again and they experience that love and affirmation in different ways. Really take the time to get to know your child and what makes them feel happy and safe. You’ll find that the act of trying to get to know them more and what they are passionate about is often one of the best ways to show them how much you love and care for them.

I hope you enjoy your Father’s Day with your children and wish you all the best as you continue your parenting journey.

This is fatherhood…

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Father’s Day Dedication 

I was fortunate enough to get to spend part of my Father’s Day on stage at our church for our daughter’s dedication. I am so blessed to be the Dad of two wonderful kids and I thank God daily for that opportunity. Below is what I shared in a blog post and what I originally said on Facebook about my son’s dedication back when he was just a few months old. I still feel that that the words I said then are the best way I can explain how I feel about this. Continue reading

Fathers Day

This has become one of my favorite days of the year. It always used to be important…I have a great Dad, Dad-in-law and my grandpa was one of my heroes, yet since I’ve had the joy of meeting my son it has taken on an all new significance. 

I absolutely love being a dad. My son is amazing and I enjoy laughing and playing with him and watching him grow so much. I love talking to my little girl in utero, listening to her heartbeat and starting to see and feel her kicks. I also love talking about being a dad, and sharing my experience with others and hearing about their experiences. I love seeing other dads be involved with their kids and seeing the love those kids have for their fathers. I love seeing other dads take it to the next level and create resources, classes and whole organizations just for fatherhood. I love seeing dads buck societal norms and gender stereotypes and do whatever it takes to love and care for their children. I love being a dad and all things fatherhood.

So Father’s Day means a bit more to me now. It will always remind me of:

My father (thank you Dad for being an awesome example of what a father should be) 

My father-in-law (thank you for “adopting” me and showing me how to treat a boy who likes your daughter)

My grandpa (thank you for your example and for being someone I always looked up to)

But now I will also think of how blessed and lucky I am to have my son and my daughter. I will think of and thank my brother-in-law, the dads in my fathers group, and my friends and family who are fathers for sharing their experiences and for their inspiration. I will also think about fatherhood in general and the role I hope to play in advancing the conversation.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! I can’t wait to spend it with my son!

This is fatherhood…