So don’t get me wrong…moms rock, but dads are pretty essential to the fabric of the universe, if I do say so myself. I’d like to think that our role in society is more mystical, the stuff of Arthurian legends. When our power is wielded correctly, these small little beings we call our children may become leaders and innovators of society. In an effort to explain the ninja-like abilities that fathers possess, I have come up with the 5 little-known Dad truisms on how to be excellent dads.
Be mighty. Not often do you get to be a real-life superhero. Granted you aren’t dodging bullets, but make sure to do things that will amaze your children. This can be magic tricks, the command of deep, useless knowledge or the ability to parallel park. 20 years from now they will still think you have all the answers and can secretly make coins appear from their ears.
Be imaginative. If your kids want you to play the role of elephant, do it. It will help them see that you care about them but you might end up having fun. One day with my then-2-year-old I went from being a horse to a king, to a spider in under 30 seconds. I rolled with it and we both ended up laughing.
Be firm. I am all for fun but ultimately fathers play a unique role in teaching children that we live in a community, and must learn to respect others and live within boundaries. Ultimately, if you show them you love them then firmness will eventually be respected.
Be yourself. Don’t try to be the cool dad, or the hip dad, or the buddy dad just because you think it is what your kids want. Kids have an intuitive sense about when people are being phony. They will trust you much more when you are true to yourself. They will learn that it’s ok to be yourself and to be different.
Be not-Mom. Make sure to always have something up your sleeve that keeps you at your rightful superhero level, whether that be letting them indulge in their favorite candy or letting them stay up 15 minutes later when Mom’s not home. Remember Mom rocks, but Dad rules!
By the way, did I mention I have 2 amazing daughters who are only 1 & 3 years old with another one on the way, but I am positive because of me they will all be in the Olympics, President, and/or cure Cancer one day? Here’s to you, dads!