I’m a great father to my three children. It’s not arrogance, I have just been able to do a lot of research and learn from my mistakes on how to be a good father to my children. There is a lot of trial and error involved. It’s that way for every dad. But trust me when I say, there has been a hell of a lot of things that I have done wrong over the years. There are things that I still do wrong, but I constantly adjust. Nobody is perfect and all we can do is work hard every day to improve ourselves and be better dads. Be ready, what I’m going to do now is talk about 5 ways that you can be a better father!
5 Ways to Be a Better Father
(1) Understand that you are a leader by example.
Like it or not, your children watch your every move. They see how you treat your wife, what you eat, how you act, when you work out, your integrity, and how hard you work every single day. Your children are a reflection of YOU! For some people that’s a tough pill to swallow.
Your Health Habits
I’m going here because I think it’s important. What I’m about to say to you will probably piss some of you off, but just like with everything else, I’m just speaking the truth. If you eat like shit every day, your children will eat like shit every day. If you don’t work out, there’s a great chance your children won’t work out either. Really, it’s as simple as that. The gift of good health is one of the greatest gifts that you can give to your children and it all goes back to how well you eat and how often you exercise. It destroys me when I’m out and about and see an obese parent with an obese child. As a father, I would be completely consumed with guilt knowing that I am setting my child up for years of future health problems. Like it or not, that’s what’s happening. It’s one thing to eat like shit and destroy your own health, but it takes it to a whole other level if you’re leading your children down that path as well. Isn’t that selfish? You better believe it. By changing your unhealthy habits and eating healthier and working out daily, you are teaching your children to do the same. If you take care of yourself, your children will as well.
How You Treat Your Wife
If you respect your wife, they will learn to respect others as well. Whenever I come across a child that is highly disrespecting their parents, I automatically think about how each parent must disrespect each other. Every day my children watch how I treat my wife. It’s not a surprise that they are extremely well behaved and respectful to other people. Now does that mean they don’t slip up? Absolutely not. They are children. They are human. We all make mistakes. But for the most part, they know that they have to respect others.
My grandparents operated with integrity. Because of it my parents have operated with integrity. And because of it I have operated with integrity. And guess what? My children will learn to operate with integrity because I’m a leader by example. As a business owner, they constantly watch how I run my business and the decisions that I make. I’m a man of integrity and have always been that way. Every decision I ever make regarding my life and business is done so in a way that never comprises my integrity. That’s non-negotiable for me. If I think something might slightly go against what I feel is right, I just don’t do it period. My children will learn to grow up this way as well. I remember one time in particular when I was young when I watched my grandpa, a grocery store owner, turn away a potential for a big profit for his company because it meant he would have had to sacrifice his integrity to do so. That was an important lesson that I learned at a young age, all because I watched what he did.
Your Work Ethic
Your children will work as hard as you work. If you’re a lazy piece of shit, they will be as well. My work ethic is unmatched. I’m one of the hardest workers you will ever come across in your life. I’ve always been that way. I didn’t become insanely successful with my business by being lazy. Work ethic is crucial when it comes to success, not just with business, but with relationships and health as well. Work hard every single day and your children will as well.
(2) Properly provide for your family.
There’s a good chance I will strike a nerve with some of you out there with what I’m about to say. As a father, it’s your responsibility to provide for your family. If your family is in a shitty financial situation, you better be busting your ass every single day to get out of it. Back in 2009 I was in this position. I was failing my family from a financial standpoint. On government support, living in a tiny one bedroom apartment and sleeping on a couch, and living paycheck to paycheck, I was letting my family down. It’s OK to struggle, we all do, but what’s truly important is how you react to that struggle. A lot of people make excuses (Check out my —> How to Stop Your Bullshit Excuses <— post) and pity themselves, which is the wrong approach. You have to “just man up” and do whatever is necessary to get your family out of the situation that you’re in. I worked my ass off and took my family from being on government support to a six-figure income in a year.
(3) Follow through on your promises.
One thing that really pisses me off is when I see a father promise his kids one thing and not follow through with that promise. What is that teaching them? I have seen how sad kids get when their fathers don’t follow through on their word. If I tell my kids I’m going to be at their soccer game, you better believe I will be at that game. If I tell them I am going to pay hide and seek, I’m going to play. If I tell them I will be at their school Christmas party, I don’t care what is going on in my life, I will be at that party. Do you see a trend here? I follow through on my promises 100% of the time. Don’t be the father that let’s his kids down.
(4) Schedule time with your kids every day.
I know this sounds strange, but get into the habit of dedicating a certain amount of time every day with your kids. I’m going to be honest with you here, if there is one thing I struggle with it’s this. With me running a business, it’s so easy to get sidetracked and before I know it that phone call or video I’m creating blends right into the time with my kids. I’m not making an excuse. There is no excuse here. Spending time with my kids every single day is an absolute priority and it should be for you as well. I’ve gotten much better with this recently and will continue to improve every single day.
(5) Be stern.
It’s very easy for a father to always want their children to like them. The last thing that you want to do after working all day is get home and have to punish your children. However, being strict and stern is important. Your children have to understand that there are lines they don’t cross and if they cross them there will be consequences. Sometimes that means you have to be the “bad guy.” I’m OK with being the “bad guy” if it means my children will listen well, respect others, and not throw fits in public. Speaking of which, it’s so easy for a dad to give in and give the child what he or she wants after throwing a fit in the grocery store. If that happens with any of my kids, I don’t care who is watching and what others think, their ass is going to the car and will quickly understand that it’s not OK to act that way. It’s only happened a few times when my children were very young and they don’t do so anymore. They know better because I was very strict with punishment. When they do act up, they first get a warning. If they continue to act up, they are put in the corner for 5 minutes. If they act up again, which never happens, they get their iPads taken away for a day or two.
So there you have it, 5 ways to be a better father. Work hard in improving these 5 things every single day and you will be well on your way to being a better father. In the end, remember that your children are a reflection of you. If you live with integrity, work hard, take care of yourself, make time for them, follow through on your promises, and are strict with how they act, they will grow up and do the same thing with their own children someday.