Father’s Day is special to me. Although getting gifts is fun, I never dwell on that part of the day. I always focus on how fortunate I am to be blessed with three beautiful children who call me “Dad.” Because of my past issues with my father, I don’t take the title “Dad” lightly. Along with being a husband, being a dad is the most important job that I’ve ever had. Each day, I work hard to model proper behavior and instill strong values in my children. More importantly, I strive to show them love and affection (I’m a big hugger).
With any job, it’s important to assess your performance on a regular basis. Father’s Day is my reset point where I become introspective and really evaluate how I’m performing as a father. Each year, I ask myself the following questions to see how well I’ve lived up to my personal expectations:
- Have I used my words and actions to ensure that all three of my children feel loved?
- Have I given my children the confidence to set goals and achieve them?
- Have I nurtured my relationship with my wife so my children can feel secure in the stability of our marriage?
- Have I modeled good moral and spiritual character?
- Have I been a good steward of our family’s finances?
I’ll admit that I sometimes fall short in a few areas, but I make it a point to work on improving these shortcomings during the following year.
One of the most important things that we do is eat meals together. During our Father’s Day dinner (my wife always makes me a nice rib-eye steak) I ask my kids to respond to the questions above. They feel safe answering the questions frankly because we always have open discussions around the dinner table. Our family’s meals give us an opportunity to really delve into each other’s lives and speak honestly about our feelings. In our family we don’t have to wait for a special occasion to celebrate time with each other. We always prioritize family time, whether it’s working on a project together or planning an activity in our own city. My hope is that my kids grow up to be well-adjusted adults with an appreciation for their parents’ commitment to create real connections that last a lifetime.
My kids’ assessments help to become a better man and a better father. I know that I will never be the “World’s Greatest Dad,” but I will strive to be the dad that my kids need at any given moment. I’m thankful for the opportunity to be a father and that’s why Father’s Day will always be special to me.
Fred Goodall, a Together Counts blogger ambassador, contributed this post. When Fred is not out spending time with his family you can find him writing on his personal blog, Mocha Dad. Fred started his blog in 2008 to chronicle his life as a father of three children and to share the different family values he hopes to pass down to his children. Outside of blogging, Fred enjoys music, photography and surfing the web.