My kids are growing so fast. Kylie turns 9 on Friday and Parker is already 7 and a half. It’s nuts.
There’s so many ways I could be a better dad, and hopefully I’m getting better as it as I go.
I thought I’d share a couple of things I’ve tried to do do well at as a parent, in hopes that it might inspire one of you to mix things up a little and get better too. Maybe you can do the same for me in the comments too.
7 Little Ways I Try to Be a Better Dad
1. I Take Time To Explain Things – One of the things I always try to do with my kids is keep them in the loop. I try to let them know the reasoning behind the decisions I make, so it feels less like I’m an authoritative dictator and more like a reasonable dude.
Of course, everyone once in a while you need to pull a “because I said so”. It’s in the by-laws or something.
2. I Use My Imagination – The next time your kids are being goofy, jump right in. If they’re coming up with ridiculous ice cream flavors, tell them you want to eat a poop and broccoli sundae.
You won’t always want to, but try to be more imaginative than your kids and they’ll love you for it.
3. I Dance Like an Idiot – We had a dance party at our house a few weeks ago and I made sure I was out there cutting it up in front of my kids. I don’t want them to be afraid of what others think, so as much as I can, I show them that it’s okay to be yourself and look ridiculous sometimes.
4. I Make Out with my Wife – I know they’re watching, so I make sure they get that constant reminder of what romantic love looks like between a married couple. (Don’t worry, just pecks in front of the kids).
But more than the kissing, it’s talking to each other with respect, going out of our way to be kind, and making each other laugh. I want them to want that in a marriage someday.
5. I’m Unpredictable – A few years ago I showed up at my mother in law’s pool after playing golf. The kids were already swimming and I was hot and sweaty, so I took my phone and wallet out of my shorts and jumped into the pool fully clothed. Parker still talks about it to this day.
I want to be a consistent parent, but I don’t want to be boring and predictable. The next time you have a little margin to be creative, ask yourself “What cool thing can I do right now that would be the LAST thing my kids would expect?” And then do it.
6. I Say I’m Sorry – Even if I had a right as a parent to be upset, I still apologize to my kids when I get angry or do something I know I shouldn’t have. Offering apologies and forgiveness is an important life skill, so I want them to get used to it from both ends by seeing me do it.
7. I Act Weird – I act weird because I am weird. My kids know that the me they see out of the house is the same one they see in the house. Again, it’s the whole “be yourself” thing.
Kylie told me yesterday, “Dad, you’re a weird dad. And I like it.”
I’m still smiling thinking about that one.
So my fellow parents out there, your kids might be older or younger than mine, but any small bits of wisdom you’ve been learning lately to pass on?
How about those of you with no kids yet, is there some little value or cool thing you always want to try to do with your kids someday?
let us know…