A father's role in his children's lives is unique. I've written before about how fathers are irreplaceable
, but today I want to focus on how you're a rock for your children. We all have needs. We want to feel emotionally secure and safe. Kids are no different. As fathers, our children depend on us to help them meet that feeling of safety.
Helping your kids feel safe, stable, and secure is a daunting endeavor, and certainly one with high stakes. That's why cultivating a healthy and rich relationship with them is so important. Being present
to them and making sure that they're the most important thing in your life is critical. Playing with them, talking with them, and spending one-on-one time with them are all great ways to cultivate and grow your relationship
I was recently reading an article on Dr. Meg Meeker's blog about a father who's daughter informed him that she was a boy
. Dr. Meeker's response, which is well worth the read, reinforces that, especially for daughters nearing their teen years, fathers need to to be there for their kids, to fight for them, and to give them special attention.
If you're everything for your child today, they'll know who to trust when things are difficult. The behavior of a child who acts out and makes risky decisions is indicative of a poor family life, or at the very least a poor relationship with their parents. That's not to say that every child who has a great relationship with their parents won't misbehave. It does say, however, that the emotional stability and security that those relationships bring will result in kids having better coping skills to deal with the stresses and pressures that push kids towards bad choices.
Being everything for your children can be difficult, but it's all about relationships. Maintain your role as a parent, be generous with your time, loving in your interactions, and firm in your boundaries. Investing heavily in your relationships with your children will pay dividends later in life.