To The Brotherhood of Christian Men:
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another .. Proverbs 27:17
Seven Secrets of Effective Fathers
Some men stand head and shoulders above the crowd when it comes to being a father. In his research of fathers across the country, Dr. Ken Canfield, Founder and President of the National Center for Fathering, identified seven secrets for becoming an effective father.
Develop and maintain a high level of devotion to the fathering task. Embrace the many roles of fathering and establish that you are in for the long haul. Here are a few practical ways to pursue an active commitment to fathering: tell your children about your commitment, tell others about your commitment and ask them to hold you accountable to the task, closely monitor your commitment level to be sure your children do not get crowded out, and use visual aids, such as photographs and artwork, to remind you of the reward of fathering.
Know your Child.
Take time to learn the specific, unique qualities of each child. Get involved in their world: their gifts, fears, disappointments, and dreams. Learn the names and personalities of their friends. Find out what upsets, embarrasses, motivates, and encourages each child.
When children know what to expect from their fathers, they will be more confident and well adjusted. Be consistent in these six important ways: Limit your mood swings, be present in the family, keep your promises, maintain a high standard of morality, establish a regular schedule, and pursue hobbies and interests.
Protect and Provide.
Give your children security by responding positively to crises and providing a steady income. Fathers cannot prevent times of crisis, but your actions during a crisis will help restore family normalcy and teach your children how to cope with difficulties. A steady income will give you confidence in your role as an effective father.
Love Their Mother.
Dedicate yourself to a meaningful, romantic marriage with your wife, and realize you are part of a parenting team. This is the best thing you can do for your children. Even when father and mother are no longer married, the children benefit greatly from a civil, cooperative relationship between parents.
Recognize that your children can easily get lost in life’s many distractions. Listen carefully to what your children are saying, and not saying, and show them they deserve your undivided attention.
Offer Spiritual Leadership.
Help your children discover their own relationship with God by demonstrating your faith in action. Lead the family in regular times of worship, pray with your children, attend church regularly with the family, and use daily life to teach your children about the love of God.