My Job as a Dad: Less Presents, More Opportunities.

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One of my main concerns is being a good dad.

I have come to realize that I only have these responsibilities for another 11 years. After that she is society’s problem.

Actually, I hope she is never a problem.

Hope is the key word here.

Time will tell how I have done at my part of the job as a parent (by my calculations I am responsible for 37.98% of the child rearing… the rest is all mom).

I only get one shot at this.

From learning to ride a bike, to hitting a softball, to keeping her room clean, to clearing the dinner table, to boys (ugh… I think I just threw up in my mouth), to changing a flat tire… the list is long of things I have to teach her.

I have no previous experience in raising a young lady. No qualifications. I didn’t take any classes to learn the skills of fatherhood. I haven’t passed any sort of standardized test. And I am not even required to have a license.

The state makes me buy a fishing license every year. But when it comes to raising a child, they just turned me loose. However, putting a worm on a hook and throwing it into a pond…. that takes $10 and two forms of ID.

Even with this lack of experience, my hope is she doesn’t grow up being a complete mess.

And I don’t mind saying, so far so good.

She will be turning 8 this spring and has never been convicted of a felony. Key word here, convicted.

And she doesn’t have any tattoos. That you can see.

By all accounts, my child rearing skills have to be rated at least average.

As a father, my original plan was to look back at my childhood for guidance on how to raise her.

But, I decided that might not be the best idea.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining about how I grew up. It was great.

I just want better for her.

Isn’t that what makes a successful society? Our kids (our replacements) being better than us. If we are being honest, they are already smarter.

I have settled on a plan that is focused on giving her opportunities. Not gifts. Not money. Not stuff. Just the chance to see and do many different things.

Lots of things.

All sorts of things.

Sports, movies, books, museums, travel, piano, skiing, swimming, playing pool, going to historical sites, crafting, exercise, politics, and this list also goes on and on.

Most of these activities don’t cost a lot of money, just time.

My master plan includes exposing her to different things and all kinds of people. With these experiences she will be in a better position to figure out what she loves.

Then maybe she can help make society better, not worse. And hopefully, at the same time she finds happiness.

And with that I will consider her successful. And me a slightly above average dad.

But who knows. Like all parents, you get one shot per child and you hope for the best

Truth be told, I don’t have a plan.

I am just winging it.

And counting on mom.

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11 Responses to “My Job as a Dad: Less Presents, More Opportunities.”

  1. Anne
    on Dec 30th, 2008
    @ 10:49 am

    As a parent we learn everyday! I was a single mom to a son who is now grown up and a dad himself. I look at him with amazement and awe. He is so patient, happy, well adjusted, and does so well by his son and his wife. I beam with pride at the thought.
    You will too…you already do. :)

  2. Rick Henry
    on Dec 30th, 2008
    @ 1:05 pm

    Thanks for the insight into raising kids! I love being a father to my boys and daughter. I think you are spot on about giving them opportunities instead of things (although things can be shared as well). You and I see so many kids every day who are just crying out for adults to care about them. It makes me want to run home and hug my own. I’m glad that you are working with kids and giving them positive attention!

  3. Bill Birdlebough
    on Dec 30th, 2008
    @ 9:46 pm

    I’m not far behind you with my daughter being 6 I am feeling all of the same concerns/hopes that you have expressed. The good news:it only takes 10,000 hours to become the world’s best at anything you want. This sounds like a lot, but if you invested 10 hours a week, 50 weeks a year (you can even take a 2 week vacation-not that you would want to) for 20 years of their life – you can be the “world’s best parent.” This is the time issue you mentioned. Also for a help with the plan, John Eldredge’s book Captivating is very insightful.

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  9. Admin. Asst.
    on Nov 28th, 2009
    @ 1:33 pm

    This entry was the first one I’ve stumbled upon. I am looking forward to reading your entire blog.

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  11. Bobby
    on Jan 5th, 2010
    @ 8:39 am

    Great advice.

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