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  • Writer's pictureLocke Haman

How To Not Fail As A Father

Updated: Oct 24, 2023

I’ve made a lot of mistakes as a dad... If I boiled down over a decade of parenting mistakes and the lessons learned, this is the cheat sheet that I would send back to my younger self…

If you want to watch the YouTube video of these lessons, click below, otherwise, keep on reading!

1. They will follow your example, not your advice.

And they are always watching... The “Do as I say, not as I do” attitude doesn’t work. It never has.

If you expect respect from them but lose your temper on others, they see you. If you tell them to eat vegetables but skip yours, they're watching. One of the biggest fears of a girl dad is their little girl ending up with the wrong kind of guy… Would you want your daughter marrying a man like you?

2. Your words become their inner voice.

This isn’t just some cliché floating around, they WILL carry your words around with them forever. This should scare you. You have insane power over how their thought processes are formed.

Would you be proud of yourself if your words were on repeat in your child's head?

What would you do if you heard someone else talking to your kids the way you sometimes do?

3. The bar is set low for fatherhood.

Don’t think that because you’re doing more than most dads, that it’s enough. We live in an upside down world, where people congratulate you on babysitting your own kids, where they think you’re a good dad just for spending time with them. Being an above-average father is easy in this environment, but your kids deserve more than above-average.

4. Heal your crap and handle your baggage.

Before having kids, you were able to hide from your own issues. When you became a father, you lost that right. Some men need to become a father in order to become an adult. I certainly did. There is no shame in needing a wake-up call, only shame in not waking up, in not answering the call. Let your children be the wakeup call and handle your baggage before you pass it down to them.

5 Let them see you work on yourself.

This is intimately connected to #4... Your kids don’t need a perfect dad. In fact, looking perfect is actually hurting them. If they see you as perfect, they’re creating the expectation that they should be perfect too.

You might be tempted to say "I'm not the Dad my kids deserve..." Your kids deserve a dad who is imperfect but always working to get better. Your kids deserve a dad who admits that he struggles; a dad who lets them see him struggle and teaches them through the struggles. Every son is going to compare himself to his dad, and every daughter is going to compare their future partner to him. Do you want your son thinking there’s something wrong with him when it turns out he’s not perfect? Do you want your daughter looking for a man who looks put together on the outside but is a hot mess inside, or a man who isn’t perfect but always working to get better for her?

6. Let it go. There will be times you need to look at your kids and silently remind yourself: "I love you more than I need to be right." Your job is to teach them to think for themselves, not to mentally beat them into submission. What’s more important: winning the argument or teaching them to be a good human?

7. Model a healthy relationship. Your marriage is the model that your kids will use to define a "normal" relationship. The relationship you build with your wife is the blueprint for what your children will default to in their relationships. If you don't treat your wife the way you would expect your daughter to be treated, you're failing...

8. The flow of learning in a father-child relationship is not one-way. Don't fight it. Be open to the lessons. Each of your children came here to teach you. The default mindset for most dads is that they are above, or superior, to their children. This results in the power trip mentality. The "because I said so" stereotype. You do not know everything. Can you be humble enough to accept that & learn the lessons?

9. Understand that you can't do it alone. You don’t have all the answers. So stop pretending like you do. Let go of your pride, get around a group of guys working to improve as men, fathers & husbands and ask for help.

If you found this cheat sheet useful, share it with a dad friend who might benefit from reading it!

When you are ready, there are 3 ways that I can help you:

  1. Book a FREE 45-Minute "Power Session" Trouble shoot, get some outside perspective on what you're struggling with, ask for advice or learn more about 1-on-1 coaching & the Men's Groups... This session is FREE with no strings attached. No hard-close sales pitch.

  2. Apply for one of the Men's Groups: Join a small group of men forming an environment of brotherhood & accountability to grow into uncommon men, husbands and fathers.

  3. Apply for 1-on-1 Coaching: Focused, personalized 1-on-1 attention and accountability to go deep on your inner journey with an experienced guide. Firm but caring accountability from another man is a game-changer.

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