Don’t let anyone tell you lies! You get to be the dad you want to be. Sure, unexpected situations arise over the years. In many cases, we may not have made the best decisions which led us to our current situation. That could be due to our youth, lack of access to better information, our environment and our influences. The great news is that you get a chance to reset. If you’re reading this, then you’re still breathing and that means you have an opportunity. So, who do you want to be? We’ll talk about what an action plan could look like.
To start this off, you don’t always have to be defined by your past. If you didn’t make the best decisions before, for many, some things can still be done. Sometimes we miss the opportunity to be the dad we want to be due our immaturity and several other factors. It may take different experiences to realize it and determine that you want to take another path. For some of you, things were just out of your control. The actions of others prevented you from showing up in the way that you wanted to. Your heart might have been in the right place, but the end result has put a strain on the relationship with your children. That doesn’t have to be the end of your story, though.
You can change. That’s the best part! You’ve lived your life with or without your children and you’ve realized what you could’ve done differently. Since you can’t change the past, then decide today what success looks like. Hit the reset button and figure out what it would feel like to be that dad. It might be a motivational video or podcast that gets you to think differently. You might have watched a movie that inspired you to change your life. Maybe it’s a song you heard that did it for you. Sometimes, I look through old photos/videos of my children. I then get into that mode of love and appreciation for them. Inspiration comes in many forms, but it should push you to action.
So, who do you want to be? The fun dad? Adventurous dad? The more structured dad? The effective communicator dad? The present dad? The compassionate dad? The potential options are limitless! It’s like asking a kid “what do you want to be when you grow up?” and they start listing off their heart’s desires. To be clear, not everyone has major stumbles as a father, but we all have room to be better versions of ourselves. I just want you to understand that it may not be too late for you. Especially, if your children are adults now. They might have the mental and emotional capacity to really hear you out and understand you.
Let’s look at creating an action plan. What level of involvement, communication and quality time do you desire with your children? What would your kids like to experience with you? Who can you talk to? Reconnect with? Rebuild a relationship with? What actions can you control? This path may not be easy because there might be moments of swallowing your pride. You might have to apologize. You might have to do and say things that you vowed you’d never say. You may need to talk to individuals that you’ve already written off in your life. Just stay focused on the goal which is being the dad you want to be! Growth is hard and it’s different for every dad. I may not have all the answers here, but I’m hoping this message will be the starting point for transition in your life. I hope that you get the joy and fulfillment of being the dad you want to be.
About The Author – J.LeVar Bryan, Sr.
As a father of four and the founder/CEO of The Dad’s List, his family life inspires his work to recognize the stories of men who are redefining what it means to be a dad. He uses his talents to advocate for fatherhood through a variety of social media platforms, apparel and The Dad’s List Podcast.
To J.LeVar, it’s so important to craft the message from stories and use these resources as tools to engage with those who need to see, hear, and get involved.
In addition to The Dad’s List, he also runs LeVar Legacy Operations Agency. His agency solves simple problems for existing small business owners and those just getting started. From protecting your small business with access to legal counsel to website creation, graphic design, professional photography and video projects. For select clients, he serves as their dedicated Online Business Manager.
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