If you’ve ever listened to our show during the end of a year, you’ll know that I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions. As a matter of fact, my normal resolution is to not make any.
However, as I watch my two boys, 4 and 7, get a little bigger and a little older each year, I am struck by the notion that I should do more. They are my prized possessions, after all, and I’d hate to wake up one day and wish I had been more a part of their lives and provided more guidance.
So, after some careful consideration and self-evaluation, I have come up with five resolutions I would like to follow as a dad for 2014. Please note that in no way I am attempting to tell you what you should do or how you should raise your kids. The following is simply from the heart and mind of an average dad:
• Spend an extra five minutes each day. We all wish we could spend more time with our kids. If you are like me, you know you should. However, the long days and weeks of providing for our families leave many of us too exhausted at the end of the day to find that extra time. I have committed to giving the first five minutes of when I first get home to my kids. It’s easy to say “no” to looking at their artwork or picking up a game controller. A simple daily “yes” can add up to an approximate 1,300 minutes, or just over 21 hours, of extra time with our children.
• Call them by positive names. I only catch a sampling of the names they pick up from their friends at school. Whether it’s “stupid” or “dumb,” they pick up quite the vocabulary from the little ones they hang out with when they leave our front door. My job as a dad is to make sure that get called some positive names so they grow up believing in themselves. I’m going to try names like winner, champ and handsome.
• Teach them a sport. One of my biggest regrets so far as a dad is not taking the time to ensure they know how to catch, kick, shoot or throw a ball. I can already see that they are behind when they take the field with other kids. The last thing I want is a scene similar to the one in “Sandlot” when it’s time to play catch. It’s time to break out the planner and schedule appointments with them so that I can impart the same skills my own father did with me when I was a kid.
• Teach them about my beliefs. The greatest responsibility I have as a father is to ensure my children are raised with the same spiritual principles that I believe in. I’m confident they know what I believe regarding my faith, however not overly confident they understand why I believe what I believe. They say they early years are the most impressionable. Perhaps I should introduce them to Starbucks on a couple of Sunday afternoons to discuss the meaning of life.
• Make sure they know how much I love their mom. There is a common belief that girls will grow up to marry someone like their dads and sons will emulate their own fathers when it comes to how they treat their wives. Since I have only boys, I only have to worry about the latter (thank you, God). Though my wife and I rarely argue and never raise our voices at each other in front of our little ones, there are other things my boys need to see me do more of on a daily basis. My boys should see their dad hug their mom, tell her that he loves her, tell her that he thinks she is the most beautiful woman in the world and pray for her. If my boys grow up to provide for their own families and love the mother of their own children the way I love their mother, I will consider my time as a parent of two young boys a huge success.
Thank you for your indulgence and here’s to parenting. I wish you and your family a happy and safe new year.
Mike & Winey can be heard every Saturday afternoon from 12 to 3 p.m. on 92.3 KTAR. Join us on Facebook.