As a 23 year old bachelor, I simply have no idea what it’s like to be a dad. What makes a dad? Moreover, what makes a good dad? Here’s my attempt to answer those questions:
I see dads as diverse creatures, constantly adapting to the scenes around them and the context which shapes them. A bit like my favourite Pokémon, Ditto.. Whatever environment it‘s in, or whatever it has to face in battle, it changes and morphs to tackle it. Now, don’t get me wrong , I’m not saying dads are Harry Potter-esque shapeshifters but what makes a good dad is a man who doesn’t run away from situations or subtly become invisible when there’s danger.
A good dad faces his problems head-on
A good dad is the person who, when the world is falling apart around them, still manages to get the job done and faces his problems head-on. A man who isn’t shaped by the world around him but does quite the opposite, and is the mover and shaker of the world he is in to fulfil those most “dadly” duties in the way only dads know how.
My take on some ‘Dad Types’:
The Cool Dad: Whether you are stereotypically “cool” or not, I think it’s fair to say if a dad refers to himself as cool he most likely isn’t.. Perhaps a cool dad is one who yes, minimises embarrassment for their kids, but who is always there for his child, a whisper and presence of encouragement, wisdom and support for all their worldly pursuits. This dad would be the kind kids are happy to ask advice from, receive feedback from and they’d respect him. I can’t think of a better or healthier thing to desire.
The Angry Dad: Nobody likes being the buzzkillington, the fun-police, or the controlling guy that always makes a big deal out of things. Of course dads do know better and they’ve got a duty to guide and direct their kids through the rubbish that life throws at them. Man, it must be tough to do discipline well and I do not envy dads here. I think it’s best to treat your kids like adults (even though they don’t behave that way). Let them speak, hear them out, show them respect and explain yourself. When done well and lovingly, hopefully kids listen and will take what you said on board and change (albeit slowly).
the pressure is off.
The Perfect Dad: I know what you’re thinking.. “man, this dad stuff is hard.. if only there was a perfect dad out there I could emulate for my life and kids”. Well, when my time comes to be a dad and I fail in my dadly duties, I plan to take heart and simply point my kids to our perfect Dad in heaven. I believe God is my Father and his love doesn’t fail, his commitment doesn’t falter, his advice is always good and his plan is eternal.
So to all the dads out there; cool, angry, imperfect – the pressure is off. It doesn’t matter what type of dad we are because God, the Father of this world, Mr Perfect Dad, is with us and our kids always. If there’s anything we can’t handle, we can be sure he can. What a doddle ay?
By Matt George