Dads Make a Difference
There are five questions every responsible father should answer. As you read, ask yourself these questions. These five questions come with a guarantee, if you answer each one honestly and take action, you will become a 24/7 Dad…guaranteed! The questions we ask dads fit into five categories and are as follows:
1. Self-Awareness: The 24/7 Dad is aware of himself as a man and aware of how important he is to his family. He knows his moods, feelings, emotions, capabilities, strengths, and challenges. He is responsible for his behavior and knows his growth depends on how well he knows and accepts himself. Don’t run by this first category without some self-reflection. Be honest with yourself as a man and father. Do you know what part of the day you are likely to be most tired and annoyed? Be aware about how you treat your children during these times. The 24/7 Dad also knows his ability to be with his children is affected by the choices he makes. With your vocabulary, replace “I’m too busy for XYZ” with the words “I didn’t make XYZ my priority.” Hear the difference? So, the 24/7 Dad asks himself: How well do I know myself?
2. Caring for Self: The 24/7 Dad takes care of himself. He gets annual physicals, eats right, exercises, and learns about the world he lives in. He has a strong connection to his family, the community, and chooses friends who support his healthy choices. The 24/7 Dad models for his children that he respects and likes himself because he makes good choices. When’s the last time you were at the doctor? If your answer to this question is “I go to the doctor every decade whether I need to or not!” you may want to consider modeling a different standard to your son or daughter. So, the 24/7 Dad asks himself: How well do I care for myself?
3. Fathering Skills: The 24/7 Dad knows his role in the family. He knows he should be involved in the daily life of his children. Who dresses and feeds your kids? Who attends parent-teacher conferences? Who supports their sports and other interests/activities? Who helps with homework and tucks them in at night? Of course the daily schedules of work factor into this equation, however, if your answer to all of these questions (and more) on a daily basis is “mom” – we have a problem. The 24/7 Dad uses his knowledge of the unique skills he and the mother of his children bring to raising their children. In other words, he knows the difference between “fathering” and “mothering”. Said a different way, if you weren’t in the family, would anyone notice based on the daily household tasks? So, the 24/7 Dad asks himself: How well do I “Father”?
4. Parenting Skills: The 24/7 Dad nurtures his children. Yes, nurturing is for men to do as well. He knows how his parenting skills help to develop their physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual, and creative needs. His children trust and feel safe with him because he cares about and nurtures them through the use of proven parenting skills. The 24/7 Dad uses discipline to teach and guide his children, not to threaten or harm them. This is big; don’t miss this point. If and when you discipline, how are you doing it? Are you seen as the executioner of the house who comes down from time to time with his golden rules? Discipline is best done with the idea of instructing a child in the way he or she should go. This isn’t done in anger or simply because you’ve had a long day and are annoyed in the moment. So, the 24/7 Dad asks himself: How well do I “Parent”?
5. Relationship Skills: The 24/7 Dad builds and maintains healthy relationships with his children, wife/mother of his children, other family members, friends, and community. He knows and values how relationships shape his children and their lives. The 24/7 Dad knows how the relationship with his wife/mother of his children affects his children and creates a good relationship with her for their sake. He always looks to improve the skills he uses to communicate with others. So, the 24/7 Dad asks himself: How well do I relate?
Another question dads may want to add to this list is, “How do I answer the first five questions on my own, effectively, and honestly?” This is where the DADS MAKE A DIFFERENCE discussion groups come in. We have created discussion forums for men and dads on a variety of topics. It is designed as a meeting place for fathers and soon to be fathers to ask questions and to get answers. To join the conversation, ask your question now.
Dad’s discuss and learn about the unique and important role of fathers. This weekly meeting has an informal atmosphere and will provide support around developing and sustaining a positive relationship with your child.
You are invited to “Dads Supporting Dads” Your important role as a new father will have a lasting impact on your child.
We provide conversation, information, resources, and other dads! (Food will also be served).
All dads ask questions.
(These are just a few)
- What is my baby trying to tell me?
- How can I relate to my child’s mother and effectively support her?
- How can I be the best dad that I can be?
- What happens to my child if my partner and I separate?
- What is discipline all about?
- What do I need to know about this baby business?
The Dads Make a Difference Group runs on Wednesday evening from 7-9 PM at The Men’s Centre (418D Fitzwilliam Street, Nanaimo).
You must pre register. For more information and to register, email: Darren Maillot the program facilitator or call us at 250-716-1551.