While travelling overseas in Asia I experienced a wide range of cultures and some amazing sights that will always stay with me. I tended to rely heavily upon the local tour guides or cab drivers to get me to where I wanted to go especially when we were crossing borders from one country to another, and entering places where I had little or no experience of the culture I was about to face.
Probably the most important thing I learned while travelling was the need to clearly articulate to the local tour guide or cab driver where I wanted to go, and then to periodically continue to check if we were indeed heading in the correct direction. I found it important to ensure that my directions had really been understood and not “lost in translation”, because experience has proven that if you don’t start off heading in the right direction there is a good chance you will not reach your desired destination.
The same can be said for the direction we as fathers choose for our families, if we aren’t heading in the right direction today we may not reach our desired destination tomorrow. But how can we as fathers know the direction we should be leading our families? I’m glad you asked! I believe one of the most effective ways to clarify the direction we should be heading today is to start with the end in mind. As we continue to improve our parenting education by taking parenting classes or perusing parenting magazines our confidence continues to grow. Eventually we arrive at a place in life where we feel able to make the correct parenting decisions.
By taking the time to consider clearly where we want our family to be in 10-20 years’ time, we can begin to clarify the type of family we need to build today. What are the things that are important to you as a man and leader of your home? By identifying the things that you value deeply you have already begun to define the type of future you are desiring for your family.
If you as a man value your health, your will lead your family in a healthy direction. If you value the benefits of a University education, then you will teach your family to aspire to intellectual pursuits. If church life is important to you then you will impart your love for the church to your children. All of these areas once identified in your own heart bring definition and clarity to the future destination of your family.
Alternately if you look at areas within your life and decide that they are not what you want for your family you can begin now to make the changes in lifestyle that will alter your future away from those areas. Each decision made brings the destination a little clearer, a little more in focus. By checking periodically on the direction your family is currently headed you can ascertain whether you are getting closer to or further away from the destination you are desiring for them.
By starting with the end in mind we can begin our journey with confidence and by using wisdom we can make the desired corrections along the way that will ultimately bring us to our desired destination.
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