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Modern dad’s job description


Today’s tragedy is that the “tyranny of the urgent” overwhelms men with a maelstrom of meetings, deadlines and commitments which all scream out for priority attention.  Men get caught up in careers, sport and other perfectly fine things, but the most important thing in life - being a father – is receiving a low priority. 

How do you become an effective and awesome father in the new millennium?  

The best way I can express the job description for a Dad in a modern world is through the term “parent coach.” 

A coach sees the individual strengths of his players and while affirming and challenging each, inspires them to become a co-operative part of the winning team.  Most of all a good coach stays on his pedestal and, through his belief in his players, wins their respect and love. 

I recently heard that my adult son took part in a major debate at Melbourne University on the subject of leadership and its potential use for good or evil. He closed his speech with a story I had told him when he was a child. 

The story was about a farming community that had gathered together for harvest. At the end of a tiring day, during darkness as they were packing up, they realised a small boy was missing. For hours in the darkness they searched for him without success. Next morning at first light, they began their search again. An old farmer suggested that they all join hands and thoroughly search the fields. They quickly found the little boy, but he had died of exposure during the night. His distraught mother cried out, “If only we’d joined hands sooner!”

Dads have the ability to join hands with their wives and their children to make their family a place where children gain security, significance and self-esteem.

Research tells us that a father influences his children in many ways; most notably he exerts influence on the following: 

The intellectual ability of his children
The behaviour his children will model
The genetic background that his children receive
His children’s ethnic heritage and their position in the family structure
The occupational choices his children make 
The material resources his children are left with when he is gone
The ways his children will behave towards their offspring 
The attitudes his children will hold regarding their children
The memories his children will have after he dies or separates from the family 

When spelled out like this, the power we as fathers have over our children’s future is mind boggling.