I am a son, brother, friend, teacher, coach, and husband. I am many things; however, the most important thing I am is a father. I am blessed to be the father of an awesome three-year old son with another baby boy due in a couple of weeks. The role of a parent can be difficult at times, but it is the most rewarding role one can have. Being a father of two sons is awesome. This week I’ll share the five best things and responsibilities we have in raising boys.
- The best thing about raising a child is the time spent with them. Whether it’s playing tractors, dinosaurs, blocks, basketball, watching movies, or wrestling (this involves me getting the tar beat out of me J), the time spent with my son is the greatest reward. It doesn’t matter what we’re doing because I know how important and valuable the time spent together is. There are far too many stories in this world of children not having a positive male influence in their lives. As true men, we need to realize just how important our involvement in our child’s life is. I want to be involved in as much as I possibly can in sons’ lives. It involves sacrifice but having this time together is better than any drink or drug anyone could ever possible have.
- Being a role model to your child is something that must be embraced. Remember the Rodney Adkins song, Watching You? It couldn’t be any more true. Your kids want to be just like you. At all time their eyes are on you. I just laugh sometimes when I see my son trying to do something the exact same way as I do. Whether it’s filling up his lawn mower and cutting grass like me, his mannerisms, or they way he treats his animals and mother; he’s watching what I do to get cues on what he should do. It serves as a reminder that I need to be careful of what I say and how I act in front of him. I want my sons to grow up to be a great people, and they will treat people as I have treated others. The most important legacy a man can leave behind is the one he has a father. My son’s will be my legacy long after I am gone and it is something that I take to heart.
- Witnessing your child’s growth is a gift. Time goes by fast, much faster than a parent likes it to. Even though it’s over three years ago, I can still remember the day my first son was born like it was yesterday. I remember holding him in the palm of my hand. Now, we’re going to “big kid” school and learning how to ride tricycles. It’s crazy. Watching their physical growth is great because you get to see them try new things, and when they succeed at something for the first time, like walking, it’s such a wonderful moment. Along with the physical growth comes the emotional, spiritual, and intellectual growth. These areas are just as important, if not more so, than the physical growth. In order for these areas to full develop children need a strong presence from their fathers.
- One of the greatest things about fatherhood is the bond between a father and his children. Too often we see men who are afraid to be affectionate with their sons because it’s “not masculine” to do so. Showing affection helps to create the bond between father and son. It’s okay to give your son a kiss and a hug. There are many ways to create a strong bond. It can be through sports, playing games, and exploring the outdoors. It also includes silly guy stuff like laughing at burps and farts, and peeing outside. We communicate our love and create the bond with the time we spend with our children. As fathers it’s not about the presents we get them, rather it’s all about our presence in their lives.
- Lastly, another great aspect of fatherhood is teaching your child to be a true man. Society gives young boys and men such a misguided view of what being a man truly means. As fathers, it’s our great responsibility to teach our sons to be real men. How do we do this? We can start be teaching them respect for all, especially women. We can teach them that they don’t have to resort to violence as a first option. As fathers we must teach them that intellect is more important and will provide more for them than physical skills. Another key for fathers is to guide and nurture the natural curiosity our children possess. Being a man isn’t all about liking sports, drinking beer, racing cars, and omitting foul odors. It’s about living a life worth remembering while treating others with kindness and respect.
On this fathers day we should remember and honor those men who lived and instilled in their children the characteristics discussed above. I’d like to give a special shout-out to my dad and grandpa Elmendorf for being those men in my life.
I love you.
As always, thanks for reading, have a great week, and be an RGP today!