Let’s start by saying this – there’s little virtue in simply being a biological father. You have to step up and parent. In other words, children who don’t have a father are only disadvantaged as compared to kids with fathers who invest themselves in the dad role with all the gifts and the resources they’ve been given.
That said, we understand that divorce and other tragedies are a reality of 21st Century life. Some kids simply don’t have a dad. Their moms provide a wonderful home and what they achieve is nothing short of the miraculous. But they can’t make up not having a loving father around.
All Pro Dad is interested in talking about dads doing their best, about dads making the decision to take their role seriously, and about what is at risk if we walk away.
There’s only one non-negotiable expectation that should come with the dad job, and that’s “MY BEST.”
Let’s take a look at 10 reasons not to slack off:
- Balance: Mothers are amazing. Fathers are amazing too. But we were created to learn and grow as balanced people. Dad is a unique piece of that puzzle.
- Parenting at best is a tag-team sport: Reality checks – Father does not know best – and neither does Mother. But between them, employing their complimentary gifts, more often than not, they’ll get it right.
- Mom’s missing something too: We’re not saying a woman is incomplete without a man. What we are saying is that kids miss out twice when there’s no father in the home. Kids whose mom is loved eloquently by their dad have the advantage of a mother who’s loved by a good man. Every child should live in a home like that.
- Modeling for boys: Boys need to see what it means to live as a man. Men are different in a variety of ways. Boys who see man-stuff, in action, around the home on a day-to-day basis, are at an advantage to be better equipped.
- Modeling for girls: Most girls are going to get married one day. If they haven’t seen a real live dad, being a good man, day-in day-out, then they have missed a great opportunity to understand what to value and what to look for.
- The family is a model love-relationship: Love is the great force in relationships. The family is a place where the dynamics of love between a man and a woman work themselves out in the real world. Commitment, faithfulness, forgiveness, discipline, belief – all these and more play out in front of a child’s eyes. Without a dad, this very important part of the function of a family simply is not there, to instruct children. Not having a father present in the home is a huge loss in that regard.
- The best man: Not every young man is going to ask Dad to be best man at his wedding, but – beyond the ceremonial moment – Dad should be there to fulfill the role from the day his kids start dating to the day they start a family of their own.
- Loss of focused time: Understand this; a single-parent family is not 50% of a parenting unit. In fact, it’s no fraction of a family – because a single parent family is a bona fide family, period. But, in the metrics of time, a missing dad is irreplaceable in terms of what a dad does while the other parent is doing what they do. No matter how talented mom is, she can’t be duplicated and she is finite in time and space.
- The cost in innocence: Try this question… When there’s no Dad around for Mom to lean on (and vice-versa), then who is left to play the other grown-up when one’s needed? Just in case you wonder, a grown-up IS often needed. It doesn’t matter how old the kids are, they’re going to step up and fill those shoes prematurely and there’s a cost to go along with that.
- The cost in security: Ideally, one job Dad does best is carrying the mantle of security for a family. It doesn’t mean he’s always strong physically, and it doesn’t mean that mom is weak. The “Dad” kind of security is a simple fact of biology. But it’s real, and every child without a father loses something intangible that takes its toll in confidence.