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5 of the Best Parenting Decisions I’ve made as a Father


I have made plenty of mistakes in the 53 years I have been a father and grandfather—and if you don’t believe me, you can ask my wife and three children! Thankfully, they love me and have forgiven me for the times I have messed up.

1. Giving my family quality time.
Early on as a father, and heading up NZ biggest teenage programme I realized that being a dad was my most important job. Teenagers whose Dads were not involved or were too busy got into trouble. So with Mary’s help I tried to be there for my kids.

2. Listening to what my family was saying.
Spending time around the meal table talking and listening. I decided to get up half an hour earlier each day go for my jog and prepare breakfast for the family. Even today my grandchildren talk about ‘Chiefy’s ‘world-class’ breakfast.  Then have family devotions for five minutes to prepare  everyone for the day.

I believe if there is anything wrong in my family God looks at me first to carry the responsiblity to sort it.
Encouraging my children during their challenging moments. Taking them with me in the car, easy to talk about ‘tricky stuff’ when your both looking straight ahead! 

3. Calendaring everything.
I made sure that all my kids’ activities went onto my calendar even if I could not make all of them—medical appointments, school events, birthday parties, sports practices and games, social outings, and any other extra-curricular activities. 

4. Involving them in my work
Running town hall youth programmes and teenage camps, all our children grew up helping mum and dad with these programmes.
Which developed leadership skills in each of them

5. Loving their mom.
It’s been said that the best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother well, and I agree. Seeing my wife, Mary and my commitment to each other has provided our children with a sense of security, and modelled, we hope, a good example. We’ve not pretended to be perfect, but they have seen us pursue, support, forgive, encourage, and love each other over our 53 years of marriage.

It’s been said that the best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother well.