1. “Be there”
The biggest failure as a man is having a child and rejecting that child, abdicating your responsibility as a father, being quick to have sex and quicker to run away when pregnancy comes. Too many children are hurting because of a father who is alive but has disowned them, it makes the child grow feeling unwanted and unloved, it dents the child’s self esteem and some become adults with a constant feeling of rejection. If you have a child, be there; no matter how bad things are between you and the mother of the child- be there; you owe it to your young one.
2. “Tell the daughter she is beautiful”
The first man to compliment a girl should be her father, the first man to take note of her beauty should be her dad. A girl should grow up convinced she is beautiful and feeling like a king’s princess that even when boys and men try to woo her saying she’s beautiful she responds “I know, dad has been telling me that for years”. Too many girls fall for preying men because they are desperately looking for affection, they have daddy issues and had no encounter with a male figure who genuinely loved them before the preying men noticed their boobs and hips; so they fall prey to men who use compliments and give attention as a carrot to lure to a trap that leads to hurt.
3. “Model manhood to the son”
A boy comes into the world as a naive student who will absorb what the male figures around him teach. He can be taught the right way to be a man or be misled. He learns how to treat females whether good or bad from the men around him. He should learn proper manhood from the father. The father should model how best to treat and respect females, how to love as a man, how to work, how to provide, how to be a man of integrity. This learning should be in the form of loving mentorship, too many men grow up with an absent father, too many grow up with a father who puts too much pressure on the poor boy in order to win daddy’s approval that they grow up frustrated and angry at the world because their transition from boy to man was cruel and made to be a test to win a nod than a smooth mentorship process. Too many boys are left to find their way and in so doing will make many mistakes and end up half-grown boys in men’s bodies.
4. “Eat with your family”
Food brings people together, one of the greatest show of security to a child is when the dad makes time to share meals.
5. “Be the spiritual leader”
The father should be the High Priest. He should lead the child/ children towards living a Godly life, he should be seen praying, reading God’s word, living out a Godly life, loving. The child should be given a Godly foundation that will shape a stable future and the father should be seen submitting to the God who gave the child life and who makes parenthood possible.
A child with a father who loves to listen grows in confidence. When a child feels he/she can tell daddy anything, no battle will intimidate the child. Sometimes you don’t have to say much, just sit back and pay attention. The first need of love is to be listened to, to be treated like how you feel and what you have to say is important.
7. “Give advice”
A father should be there to offer counsel whether solicited or not. Children cry for direction. As a father, be involved in the process of the seeking of answers. Be open about your mistakes (no lying you used to get straight A’s in school), your childhood, your lessons and your expectations of the child. Give advice not as a dictator whose word is final lest you isolate yourself from the child because the child can do what you ask yet fear and despise you; but help the child understand why you are insisting on your way, help the child understand your reasons, train your child to think through solutions; this way, he/ she will grow up with the self-sufficient capacity of making sound and wise decisions.
8. “Be present”
The father’s presence should be felt, too many fathers have left parenting to the wife. The best test of love is the giving of time, do not fail this test.
9. “Refrain from throwing money at the problem”
No matter how rich you are, fatherhood is not done by throwing money at issues. When your child complains of your absence, when problems arise, when dealing with your child becomes a handful and you feel you have no time; don’t use money to silence or appease the child. Fatherhood is a hands on approach, it will not be easy but its fruits are sweet. Don’t escape through your ATM. Material things can contain a child for a while, but soon the child will look around and see empty things, but no love from dad.
10. “Show up”
Make daddy appearances; show up at your child’s sports day, birthday, parent’s day, graduation or any other special day. Make random visits to what your child cares a lot about even if for a few minutes. Meet your child’s friends briefly, let your child feel ‘Daddy’s loving eyes are watching over me’. An employee feels special when the boss makes a random visit to smile at the employee’s work, a citizen feels special when The President makes a surprise visit to greet the citizen, a child feels special when daddy makes a loving phonecall or shows up to demonstrate he cares.
11. “Be a super hero”
Be strength to your child, the rock that is a shelter, the refuge and defender to your child. The attributes of God the Heavenly Father, model them as an earthly father.
12. “Cast a vision”
With your wife, cast a vision for your family. Define what you expect from your child because children love living up to a target. Make the vision and values that should govern your family plain and simple for the child to live by. Your role is to show leadership.
13. “Stay focused”
Casting a vision is not enough, you must not abandon ship. The man is the one who proposes to a woman for marriage, he initiates the formation of a family, but too many men let down the family they themselves initiated. They start having affairs, wasting time and money on other women and being distracted by meaningless pursuits as their children suffer. Don’t let go of the steering wheel, drive your family car its full course.
14. “Be a success story”
Succeed as a man, successed as a professional, succeed in life, shine in society. Children love to brag about their dad, be the best man in your child/ children’s eyes, the one to grow up to be like. Let it be an honor to carry your name as a surname.
15. “Love the mother”
Your wife acquires a new position when you have children, she is not just your wife but the mother of your children. Your child/ children love both of you the same and the desire of a child is to see mum and dad in love working as a team. A child should grow up with the demonstration of how true love looks like from mum and dad.