In this episode of the Manlihood Mancast, Josh Hatcher tells us what you need to know about being a dad.
Got kids? Listen, to father a child is simple. Anyone with the right equipment can impregnate a woman.
But that does not mean that fatherhood is simple. There’s a few things you need to know about being a dad.
1. This matters. A lot.
- 43% of US children live without their father [US Department of Census]
- 90% of homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes. [US D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census]
- 80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes. [Criminal Justice & Behaviour, Vol 14, pp. 403-26, 1978]
- 71% of pregnant teenagers lack a father. [U.S. Department of Health and Human Services press release, Friday, March 26, 1999]
- 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes. [US D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census]
- 85% of children who exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes. [Center for Disease Control]
- 90% of adolescent repeat arsonists live with only their mother. [Wray Herbert, “Dousing the Kindlers,” Psychology Today, January, 1985, p. 28]
- 71% of high school dropouts come from fatherless homes. [National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools]
- 75% of adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes. [Rainbows f for all God’s Children]
- 85% of youths in prisons grew up in a fatherless home. [Fulton County Georgia jail populations, Texas Department of Corrections, 1992]
- Fatherless boys and girls are: twice as likely to drop out of high school; twice as likely to end up in jail; four times more likely to need help for emotional or behavioral problems. [US D.H.H.S. news release, March 26, 1999]
2. Don’t just BE there, BE INVOLVED
Your kids need you to be present – but that doesn’t mean in the building, playing X-Box and yelling at them. Change diapers. Show them how to treat their mother by treating her good yourself. Tell them that you love them. Laugh with them.
3. Discipline equals freedom
This little formula for success, made popular by Jocko Willink is true. Don’t get hung up on the idea that discipline is spanking. Discipline is training. Train those kids in the path they are supposed to walk. Doing so – will ensure that they have FREEDOM in the rest of their life.
4. This is hard.
I’m not gonna lie. Being a dad is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. It’s not easy to clean up puke at 2am. It’s not easy to work two jobs to pay the bills, AND make sure that my kids feel the weight of my presence in their lives. It’s not easy to try to set an example, when what I want to do is whine and gripe.
5. But it’s worth it.
Gosh, Kids are great. Watching them grow from little beans bouncing in mom’s belly to fully grown adults, making responsible choices, and working hard and contributing to society. It’s rewarding. I’ve heard it said that kids are like arrows in the hands of a warrior. (Blessed is he whose quiver is full of them.) I draw them back, aim them, and let them fly. And sometimes we miss, but seeing them hit the mark is the most rewarding feeling I’ve ever known.
6. If you wait till you’re ready, you never will.
You’ll never be able to “afford” to have kids. Having kids isn’t something you can be ready for. What you need to do the job comes with them. Pops right out with the umbilical cord. You think you aren’t ready for this, and then the doc hands you that baby, and you feel the weight of the responsibility, and the joy and pride of making a life, and all at once, you’re given what you need.
7. You have to choose.
So, you’re handed a baby and a new name (Daddy) and you now have to choose to accept the challenge. Here’s the thing. I don’t believe that rejecting it’s an option. I mean, people DO reject it. But you shouldn’t. You choose then and there to be a father. And you make that choice, day in and day out to make sure their needs are met, that the example is set for them, that they are loved, cherished, corrected, and challenged. You have to choose it.
Want to weigh in? Comment here, or log in to our private facebook group – The Manlihood Mancave to discuss this with other men!
Want more posts on Fatherhood?
Welcome to Daddyhood Part 1
Welcome to Daddyhood Part 2
Welcome to Daddyhood Part 3
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