12 steps to authentic fathering: Nebraska v Iowa - father hugs son

12 steps to authentic fathering

As fathers we will impact our children’s lives deeply and forever, that is a given, the only choice is whether it will be for good or for bad.

The great privilege of  fathering is that you have the power to lay the foundation for an emotionally whole and successful life in your child.You are the most powerful, influential man in your child’s life.

Here are 12 fathering practices you can develop that will lay a deep lasting foundation for success in your child:


  • Truly see your children, discover the essence of who they are, what makes their hearts come alive.
  • Nurture your children, speak words of authentic affirmation to them, encourage them, never break them down or make them feel scared or unworthy.
  • Value your children, let them know that they are deeply treasured and appreciated by you.
  • Help your children discover their unique identity, their unique talents, likes and dislikes.
  • Validate your children, let them know that they matter, that their life counts.
  • Equip your children with the knowledge, life skills and education they need to succeed in life.
  • Engage with your children emotionally, physically and spiritually, dedicating quality time to them regularly and consistently
  • Set an example for your children by the way that you live your life, let your words be consistent with your actions
  • Provide for your children, to the best of your ability, giving them all that they need to live safely, comfortably and to receive a good education
  • Love your children in word and deed, leaving them in no doubt ever of your deep love and commitment to them, express your love freely.
  • Discipline your children, teaching them right from wrong and not spoiling them by letting them always get what they want.
  • Protect your children from physical, emotional and spiritual harm, guarding what they have access to and what influences them.
  • The joy and rewards of these 12 practices are immeasurable and the impact will resound through multiple generations. Make that pledge now for you, your wife, your children, their children and their children’s children.

    Craig Wilkinson

    Craig is a bestselling South African author, award winning social entrepreneur, inspirational speaker and Dad Coach. He is passionate about the crucial role fathers play in the lives of their children and society. Drawing from his experience of raising two children to adulthood and over a decade of working with men, Craig has produced resources for fathers at all stages of their fatherhood journey. Craig is also the founder and CEO of Father a Nation (FAN), an NPO whose mission is to restore and equip men to be great fathers, mentors and role models.