If you could improve one area in your fatherhood journey…what would it be?
For a lot of dads, they want to be more patient. When experienced dads are asked about becoming a father, a common theme that comes up is the importance of patience.
There is nothing like a crying baby in the middle of the night to test a young couple’s patience. Or being interrupted continuously while trying to accomplish a simple task around the house.
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And my all-time favorite: stepping on Lego blocks barefoot after you asked your kids to put them away.
I notice it feels particularly tough when I feel like I don’t have much time for myself, swept along by events of the family day in and day out. And the routine with little children can sometimes feel a bit like groundhogs’ day. The temptation is to throw in the towel and have a beer with friends. (Which may not be a bad idea if that’s what it takes to blow off some steam and refocus).
For dad’s who are NOT naturally blessed with a substantial gift of patience, it can be a long road ahead. So, it’s time to dial in practicing patience. Kids will be kids. They are going to act out. They will test your limits and boundaries. They will make mistakes. As parents, our job is to give them a safe environment to make mistakes and learn from them. So don’t expect immediate returns; just hang in there.
Patience is a fundamental virtue of raising a family. It’s also incredibly important to the emotional health of the family to be led by a father who models patience in spite of challenging circumstances.
- Ask God to help you be more patient with your family.
- Expect it to be challenging.
- Find a buddy to talk to and vent with from time to time. It’s always nice to commiserate with some other young dads going through a similar life stage.
- Don’t expect your spouse to be able to handle all your frustration. She’s going through her own challenges and frustration with parenting.
- Give yourself a break. Create small moments during the week where you can take care of yourself.
- Exercise is an excellent way to burn off stress. I found that early mornings are the best time to make that happen.
“A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.” Proverbs 15:18
Do you find yourself flying off the handle when it comes to parenting in the challenging moments?
What do you do to ready yourself to parent? It doesn’t just come naturally.
I would spend some time in prayer about how you parent. Speak to your wife and establish a code word for when you need to tap out for a 5 minute “Praise Break”. I would also encourage you to find a book on parenting and learn how to deal with these moments.
About the author: Tj is the CEO of Studio490 Creative Services and Uncommen.
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