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The Seven Practices of a Phenomenal Father

The Seven Practices of a Phenomenal Father

Fatherhood is a big job, with a lot of work involved. After all, what task is more important for a man than raising up the next generation of men?

Depending on your definition of father, either I amĀ one or I will becomeĀ one soon.

My wife is due to give birth to our first child (a son) in late August, and this past Sunday was my first Fatherā€™s Day to celebrate as one of the dads.

I had the chance to spend some time with my dad on Sunday, and reflect on how much heā€™s taught meā€”as well as how much I still need to learn.

My dad is nowhere near perfect, but he doesn't pretend to beā€”and that's what I've come to respect the most.

Right away, I can think of seven specific practices I've picked up from my dad's example, which I'm going to need in order to become a father worthy of my children's love.

  1. Provision. My dad is the sole provider for my family, and has been for over 25 years. From working alongside him, I know itā€™s tough workā€”but you wouldnā€™t know that from how rarely he ever complains. Today, both parents work in nearly half of all married-couple familiesĀ in the US. That's becoming the norm, butĀ my parents made sacrifices to make sure my mom could take care of us kids at home.
  2. Persistence. At just over 50 years old, my dad is the smartest college dropout Iā€™ve ever met. He never stops finding new ways to pick up additional knowledge or learn a new skill. Thanks to his encouragement, I graduated collegeā€”and never stopped learning, reading dozens of books every year.
  3. Prioritizing. Family comes firstā€”my dad has always made that clear. Despite the fact that my dad ran his own business (where he works over 50 hours a week), he always found time for movie nights or Boy Scout trips. He even matched my savings when I paid for my first car. Thanks to my dad's example, I'm always looking for ways to spend quality time with my wife (and soon, will do the same with my son).
  4. Passion. If you want to see my dad get excited, bring up a topic he cares aboutā€”such as religion, politics, or the history of war. He's taken the time to develop his opinions, and has countless stories that help others see his point of view. After growing up with my dad's passionate beliefs, apathy wasn't an option. I'veĀ pursued my own passions, and learned much along the way.
  5. Peacefulness.Ā Over the years, my dad has come to exude more and more a sense of peace. He provides an immense sense of comfort to our family, with the peace of mind and safety that his presence brings. I'm convinced that this peace comes from my dad's commitment to taking care of himself, by waking up early or coming home a bit late to build in time he can spend by himself.
  6. Patience. I come from a loud family of six, and my dad isĀ the quietest one of us all. He patientlyĀ listens, and waits until he's ready to talkā€”but the minute he speaks we all go silent, eagerĀ to hear what he has to say. From this, I've learned the impact thatĀ selectiveĀ silence can bring. Choose your words carefully, and you're immediately more likely to be heard.
  7. Protection. My dad does his best to keepĀ his children from the ugliest parts of the worldā€”first with my brother and I, and now with our two younger sisters. Early on, my parentsĀ got rid of TV and put limits on our computer and gaming time. This helped us develop discipline and manage our free time each day.As I got older, that learnedĀ discipline has helped me succeed in jobs, school, and with personal finances.

Looking back, I'm incredibly grateful. Without all that my father gave me, I'm not sure where I would be today.

I'm notĀ yet a phenomenal father, but at least I have an idea of what it takes.

  • ProvisionĀ for those who matter most
  • Persistence even whenĀ the going gets tough
  • Prioritizing to keep the family first
  • Passion,Ā which inspires others to dream
  • PeacefulnessĀ toĀ navigate the difficulties of life
  • Patience with the ones you love
  • ProtectionĀ from the trappings of theĀ world

Question: What have you learned from the father figures in your life?