Each child has a unique identity; a combination of personality traits, talents and passions that combine to equip them for their life purpose. It’s your duty as a father to help them discover what their skill set is and how this melds with their heart’s great passion to form their unique identity.
One of the greatest longings we all have is to be truly seen, truly known. People often fall in love with the first person who really “gets them”, even if the person is not right in most other ways. It is a universal soul cry and it is one that every father needs to respond to. Thus the first DadVerb is to see.
Fathers are the most powerful men in their children’s lives. What we do with this incredible privilege will shape their beliefs about themselves and the world and largely determine the trajectory of their lives. Every boy longs to be mentored by his father; every girl longs to be adored by her dad.
All men have three basic yearnings: purpose, adventure and romance. John Elldredge puts it beautifully in his book Wild at Heart when he writes that every masculine soul needs a battle to fight, an adventure to live and a beauty to rescue. As men we come alive when our souls find expression in these three areas. Unfortunately, in today’s sanitised and digitalised world, battles and adventure are not easy to come by.
Hands down my greatest challenge as a divorced dad was remaining a deeply engaged father in my children’s lives with a co parent who was no longer my partner, whose feelings towards me were less than hospitable and whose ideas about parenting came from a different manual than mine.