(ThyBlackMan.com) There are a many things a child needs and a dad should fulfill. A child needs a home; a child needs food and water; a child needs clothes on their backs. Those are the intrinsic rights that every child on this planet should enjoy.
Yet there are ‘ultra-needs’ that a child should enjoy from his or her dad in addition to those intrinsic needs. At the foundation of these ‘ultra-needs’ is love. Without that quality, everything else is just a formality. Here are four ways the love of dad is expressed in the life of his child and that every child needs.
To Hear ‘I Love You’ Often
During a recent coaching session with my ten year-old son, I asked him pointedly (as I often do) to list one area or identify one thing that I as his dad could do better. His answer took me off guard: “Say ‘I love you’ more”. I was surprised because uttering those words has always been at the top of my list; I make it a point to say them any and every time he’s with me. In his world, though, I don’t say it enough.
‘I love you’ to a kid are the three most powerful words they will ever hear. As they come through age and grade-levels, indeed as they mature, they see more and they hear less. They must hear ‘I love you’ from dad more and more – even if you already make it a habit of saying!
Speaking of ‘I love you’, kids spell LOVE the same way they want to hear it: T.I.M.E. Children need time – quality time. They need time reading, time playing, time writing, time worshipping; they need the time from a dad that only a dad can give. I’ve heard painful stories of children whose dad promised a trip to the library or museum or just hanging out – dads who failed to show at the appointed time. Do better brothers. Keep your word. Do what you can to show up. For every appointed time you fail to meet, there is a corresponding drop in confidence on the part of the child. Pretty soon you’ll be digging yourself out of a hole that’s gotten very deep.
Someone to Look Up To
A mentor is a person who guides another in a certain walk in life; a person who has walked the road others must walk themselves. That’s a need of a child in a nutshell: to show the child how life is to be lived. A lot of men think they have one too many marks on their record to really make a difference in the life of their child. Nonsense!
Success is not the only report card that a child needs to see; a child needs to see your failures and your faults as well. How else will they learn how to bounce back from setback, how to extract a positive from a negative, how to overcome adversity?
To Know They Matter
A child needs to know they matter, and this is perhaps their greatest need of all. Much of what culture says to them is the opposite: that they do not matter. A dad’s voice is the primary projectile of this truth; when a child knows their life is significant, it’s because it’s usually due to the presence of their father.
Yes, mom and other family members can instill this vital truth into a child, but its reinforcement, its vitality and its enduring quality is matchless when instilled by a caring dad. Our children must know they matter in a society that goes to great length to show them otherwise.
A dad brings a host of superlative qualities to the life of his child.
Staff Writer; W. Eric Croomes
This talented brother is a holistic lifestyle exercise expert and founder and executive coach of Infinite Strategies LLC, a multi-level coaching firm that develops and executes strategies for fitness training, youth achievement and lifestyle management. Eric is an author, fitness professional, holistic life coach and motivational speaker.
In October 2015, Eric released Life’s A Gym: Seven Fitness Principles to Get the Best of Both, which shows readers how to use exercise to attract a feeling of wellness, success and freedom (Infinite Strategies Coaching LLC, 2015) – http://www.infinitestrategiescoaching.com.