There are many men out there asking themselves and the internet, “How can I better a better father?“.
I get it, I also want to be the best and in my pursuit of giving my children what I believe is the best father I’ve chosen to embody my morals and values, I’ve dropped methods my father used on me and replaced them with more effective techniques when it came to discipline, communication, and overall upbringing/connection.
I thought I was 100% on point and needed to just continue to improve.
It wasn’t until I crossed paths with Anthony Migliorino of PeacefulFathers.com that I realized, I was searching for resources and asking the world how I could improve, yet I’d never thought to ask my son or daughter…
It’s our children who are the true metric therefore it’s our children we should be getting feedback from. The internet, books, other fathers, etc. are all solid resources, but the child you’re raising is the ultimate metric.
How are you doing as a father?
Ask your kid.
Is One Way of Parenting Better Than Another?
There’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to parenting children, that does not mean there aren’t better ways to connecting, raising, and interacting with your children.
As an aside, there are exceptions which are obvious but because this is the internet, I will make it clear:
Children diagnosed with medical conditions (Autism, Asperger’s, Down Syndrome, Prader-Willi, Etc.) certainly come with unique challenges and approaches which need to be factored in to everything you read online.
With that said, your child’s unique situation should never prevent you from working on developing yourself as a parent.
Calling your children names, hitting them, forcing them to share, and saying, “because I said so” when they challenge any request are toxic to the development of the relationship between you and your child.
If you want to improve your level of communication and relationship with one another, you need to start getting to their level in order to bring them to your own.
We need to remove the taboo and authoritarian nature from our role as parent and instead develop a mutually beneficial relationship with our kids. Forcing them to do anything is unnecessary when you’ve explained the reasoning behind the action and how it benefits the child or the family unit at large.
The best way to parent our children is by knowing and listening to our children and developing a system that works best with who they are as an individual. If as a Veteran I can come to this fluid approach after being raised in a militant home followed by 8 years of active duty, you too can break free from your past ways and learn to be flexible and focused on the outcome of the child instead of you asserting your will for the greater good.
I don’t fight with my kids about food, cleaning their rooms, chores, or anything of the sort because they know what we’re doing is best for the family and that my wife and I are doing our part as well.
We can’t overlook our personal flaws thinking that so long as we speak a true message which will lead our kids to a better place in life that it will be the path our children follow.
How to Better Communicate With Your Children
The “problem” with children is that they aren’t aware of what are good and what are poor habits in adults so whatever they see you doing, they think that’s what they’re going to be expected to do when they reach adulthood so they start that process now.
You ever notice that your kid will sit like you, talk like you, and move like you for no reason?
That’s kids and that’s why as parents, we have to become better ourselves if we want to see an improvement in them.
We have to talk to them about money, religion, politics, sex, dating, divorce, death, etc.
All of the things you want to shield them from, you have to be open to discussing at an age-appropriate level. When it comes to frustrations with homework, sports, nutrition, fitness, etc. you also have to be there to hear them out and understand, what specifically has them hung up.
What are you struggling with, how can I help you, and in that moment you can also assess whether their complaints have merit to them. Homework is a big one, instead of yelling at your child to, “just do it” ask yourself, why the hell should they spend hours at school and hours doing homework at home?
Maybe the kid is right and someone needs to speak up on their behalf, find a workaround, find a solution to the issue which may very well be one your child is correct in bringing up.
Err on the side of giving them the benefit of the doubt and err on the side of working with them to achieve the objective, not against them at whatever cost to prove your point.
We need connection and a resilient bond between child and parent and the sooner the better because it will be the strength of that bond which keeps the outside world from filtering in and undermining the positivity and unity from the inside out.
When your child knows you love and care for them and that you will hear them out, they won’t go looking for someone else to listen.
How to Become a Better Parent
A lot of people were taking shots at the woman in the video below, very sarcastic interpretations and arm chair smack talk (like the internet is known to do). While I do agree there is some serious mental issues needing to be dealt with and that Social Media has people sharing intimate moments…
I don’t see the video in a negative light; I see a woman who is at a crossroads, I see love and growth. I see a mother who may not have had the best example growing up and she is learning something only a child can teach, that she is the template that child will emulate; that her child will follow her example, not her advice and that means that if she wants her child to live a better life, she’s finally going to have to commit to living a better life herself.
As a parent, I felt this ? pic.twitter.com/VTbWtWMbN4
— GG? (@_DarthBaeder) January 20, 2021
That realization is a beautiful pain and it’s a message every parent needs to truly absorb and make a part of their leadership.
10 Ways You Can Become a Better Parent:
- You become a better parent by becoming a better person.
- You become a better parent by choosing to make your connection with your child more important than the perceived connection with your child via social media.
- You become a better parent by listening to your child and giving them the level of respect you’d give another adult, their words matter and may show you how their eyes are seeing what it is you’re saying.
- You become a better parent by bringing peace and unity into the home, it isn’t “You vs The Kids” as you’re all on the same team. There is plenty of evil and division in the world, that doesn’t mean it should be present within the walls of your home.
- You become a better parent when you choose to face the demons within you and refusing to allow yourself to continue the cycle you were a part of when your parents were raising you.
- You become a better parent when you remove all taboo from every subject and allow your children to openly share whatever questions/concerns they may have without ridicule or judgement.
- You become a better parent by embodying the message you deliver to them; if you want them physically healthy, emotionally controlled, spiritually vibrant, and mentally strong you have to be each of those things as well.
- You become a better parent by becoming a better person and better people, objectively speaking, a physically healthy, mentally growing, emotionally stable, financially secure, and in fulfilling relationships. Failing to maintain standards in these areas will have your children replication your weakness.
- You become a better parent by investing time to connection and in your child’s development. Getting them into sports and bringing them out to one-on-one dad dates (or man time with your sons). Your children need to be active and experiencing life and they need to know that dad is in their corner.
- You become a better parent by choosing to become a better parent. By reading the books, by having patience, by making your child a priority, by doing what is right as opposed to what is easy, and by letting that child know that they are not your clone but their own person and that you, as the parent, are privileged to have the opportunity to connect with and raise them.
The best metric of your success or failure as a parent is looking at the behaviors of your child.
They are reflections of your performance as a father and instead of coming down harder on them to perform, step back and reflect on what you have done to instill this type of behavior up to this point. When I work with men to dial their parenting in, they always start out by talking about their kids and I have to flip the script and ask them about themselves.
Then the switch goes off…
These kids are following you; they are what you’ve raised them to be. If you want them to improve in certain areas, you have to improve your approach and the first step to that is having the difficult conversations (which get easier with time) and getting it all on the table so everyone can be working together and reading from the same play book.
The sooner you do the work to improve, the sooner everyone enjoys the benefits of peace, connection, and unity as a family.
Acta Non Verba,
If you’d like to work together to get you in motion, schedule your call today.
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