Crossing the finish line is a wonderful feeling. The past few years I have run a triathlon that is pretty long. I have had a hard time with the run and usually end up finishing much slower than I want to. However, there is something powerful that happens when I see the finish line. I get energized and head in much faster than normal.
I think as men we like having a goal or a finish line to keep in front of us. When we can see the goal and know what we are aiming for, we get energized and keep moving. Sometimes as a dad it is hard to set a solid goal. We want our kids to be healthy and whole but what does that look like? What should our goal be as a dad?
Everyone would say they want their children to be successful, but what does that mean? The problem with success is we usually measure it by outside standards. We measure a child’s success by their grades or how they do in sports, etc… The danger of this can be what it does to the child. They feel the pressure of success and then they grow up to become adults who only measure success by outside standards.
When we measure by outside measurements only, we put our child into the posture of needing outside validation They are always seeking for something form the outside to validate them. Many people live with this type of validation today. They get promotions and raises, but usually keep trying for other things. It is also seen in those people who jump from career to career trying to find a place that “gets” them. They are living for outside validation that will never come.
The goal for our children is not success from outward validation but security within. When we help our child gain security on the inside, they can be successful in outside things but they won’t let those things change them. We have all seen the insecure teenager who changes how they act depending on who they are around. They are always wanting to be seen as “cool” by one group or another. These insecure teenagers can grow up to become insecure adults who are doing the same thing.
Our children need to be secure in their identity and we as dads are the most responsible for that. There are a few different things we can do to help them, but the most important is helping them feel secure in our love. When we make sure to communicate to our children how much we love them and believe in them, that goes a long way in helping them feel secure. As dad’s we must communicate to our children that we love them no matter what happens with their grades or sports events. This doesn’t mean we don’t challenge them to give their best, but also let them know that our love is not conditional based on their performance.
Did you grow up with a success focus or a secure focus?
This is just a small part of my new online course Dads: Secrets to Success. It is a 4 part video curriculum that will give you some practical help in being the best Dad you can be. You can check it out HERE.