I’ll bet you’ve heard this piece of parenting advice: “If you are a good dad, you play catch with your son.” You might yell and swear at your boy and beat him up every few days—but as long as you occasionally are in the front yard throwing a baseball back and forth, then all the neighbors would agree—“He’s a good dad.” Who decided that playing catch equals good fathering? I would like to challenge that advice. It was obviously written by someone who loves baseball (or perhaps someone who sells baseball gloves—maybe it’s a racket much like Hallmark coming up with their own holidays).
I think being a good dad has more to do with studying your kids and determining what would be meaningful to them. Perhaps with one it is shopping, another it is playing video games, another it is helping them with homework, and another it is coaching their sports team.
You know what I think may be the most important key to being a good dad? Intentionality. And by that, I’m not talking about good intentions. Those aren’t worth much. I’m talking about thinking through each child and being intentional about your time with them and support of them. I’m talking about having an intentional plan to invest in each kid—and revising that plan as they grow older and change.
I’ve recently decided to step it up in my intentionality with each of my kids. I’d encourage you to consider doing the same.