Being a good father means supporting your children with their dreams instead of forcing them to follow in your footsteps. It means giving them the freedom to choose. It means letting them make their own decisions because you trust that you raised them the right way. Because you trust that they have the tools they need to succeed.
Being a good father means being a positive role model for your children. It means treating their mother with kindness, no matter how bad of a mood you are in, no matter whether you’re still together or are already split apart. It means treating all women with respect, whether it’s someone in your family or a cashier behind the counter at a restaurant.
Being a good father means showing your kids what a real gentleman looks like. Someone who holds open doors for strangers in supermarkets. Someone who is honest when lying would be easier. Someone who is reliable. Someone who keeps his word. Someone with strong morals he would never dream of breaking.
Being a good father means showing your kids what a healthy, stable relationship looks like — instead of cheating, instead of giving them trust issues, instead of giving them reasons to believe that everyone is going to screw them over in the end. It means making monogamy look like a good idea instead of something they should avoid at all costs.
Being a good father means showing up when it matters the most. It means finding someone to cover your shift at work so you can see their play. It means waking up earlier than usual to eat breakfast with them. It means being an active part of their life instead of standing on the sidelines, handing them a wad of cash, and thinking the gift of money makes you involved in their life.
Being a good father means dealing with your own problems in the most mature way that you can, so that your children can look up to you, so they can call you their hero. It means taking responsibility for your actions — instead of drinking to forget your problems, instead of coming home late from work every night with liquor on your breath, instead of making your little ones believe that alcohol is the solution to every issue.
Being a good father means working on yourself. It means entering rehab when you know you need help. It means seeing a psychiatrist when you’ve been having anger issues. It means taking care of yourself so that your kids don’t have to worry about you. Even more importantly, it means taking care of yourself so that your kids see that their mental health should always be considered a priority. So they never let themselves fall apart. So they never fall down the dark road of self-destruction.
Being a good father means being a good person. It means having a good heart. It means putting your children before yourself because you love them more than you have ever loved yourself.