Being a parent is challenging. From day one when you get woken up in the middle of the night, to fretting about school, to then worrying when they come home late from parties as a teenager. Despite these challenges, the thing that helps to keep you going is a sense of purpose as a dad. In a sense, your long-term and meaningful goals.
A sense of purpose can help shape you as a father. It acts as a destination that helps you see through the trouble that your children cause, no matter what kinds of mischief they put you through. In a time when many men are losing fights with mental health, a sense of purpose as a dad reminds us that we matter even if it is only to our kids. It keeps us in line and at home, no matter if we want to be a million miles away.
Finding your purpose as a dad can be tough, but here are some ways to help you make decisions on how you would like to explore or discover your own purpose.
Books and movies
When it comes to inspiration for discovering your purpose, there are many books, novels movies, and TV shows that portray meaningful relationships between children and their fathers. You could turn to ‘Danny Champion of the World’ which shows that love is one of the ultimate purposes, or look to ‘A Room with a View’ with Mr Emerson only wanting the best for his son, no matter how society looked on him. You may even choose to look at religious texts or celebrities’ stories of how they found purpose. The thing is, look for your own purpose. By seeing how other fathers found theirs can help you to discover your own.
Partner, family, and friends
Your purpose as a father is entirely up to you, however, it often comes from our interactions with other people.
As a dad, it is important to talk with your partner and discuss your views on what makes a good father, and what your goals should be. Listen to what your partner says, as they may have different views and ones that may shape who you choose to emulate. It can be good to discuss this with your family as well, as they may have had their own purpose when they were raising their kids.
You could consider joining a group for dads. All of us at Dadsnet want to ensure the best for our kids, so making sure we listen to a variety of voices is important. Talking with people and hearing these conversations are great at helping you to sustain your purpose as a dad.
Turn your past into your purpose
Growing up, many of us dads are left with memories of when our parents told us off or left us feeling upset and hurt. Whether this came in the form of physical punishment or verbal abuse, it is a reminder of things you may not wish to emulate for your own children.
When you are a parent, you will still receive blows and upset. Rather than blame yourself and spiral into upset, as yourself how you could do better next time. Your purpose as a dad is constantly evolving and changing to meet your kid’s needs, so let it be changed by how you heal.
Move forward together
There is far more to fatherhood than just pain. Many father’s purposes is to raise happy kids, so they emulate happiness themselves.
Psychologist William Damon believes that purpose happens when our skills meet the needs of the world. As a parent, you can see how you thrive on some tasks than others. When spending time with your children, make sure to do things that all of you enjoy. If you are particularly fond of Lord of The Rings, make sure you spend time watching it with them and explaining the messages the movie depicts. If they are really into football, then it is important that you as a father spend time to encourage them and support their needs.
As a dad, you should always be looking towards the future in a positive light. Your children will look to you as a father to help them to navigate this wild and changing world and your sense of purpose will guide them.
By making sure we have a sense of purpose, we are reminded of the future we want for our children, and it shows us how we can work to ensure that we can achieve it for them.