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Parenting has its ups and downs. Single parenting is experiencing those ups and downs alone. Life seems easier when you have someone by your side to bounce ideas off and consort on parental issues. A single parent usually has family members, but let’s face be honest, it’s not the same as having your partner with you. So we single dads go out in the world armed with our hard work ethic and keen sense of direction only to be in dire need of compassion and understanding. Compassion and understanding rarely comes easy to men; usually we have to learn those traits. As a single father, I came to a conclusion on parenting not too long ago. A parent’s primary task in raising their children is to teach them to make decisions they can stand by and accept. I might not like my child’s decisions in a careers choice, the clothes they wear or their behavior, but they certainly have to live with their choices. Living with my decisions is one thing in life I’ve certainly learned the hard way.
I’m amazed at how some parents think their children are going to magically one day start making good decisions. We see these parents’ constantly in malls, extracurricular activities and in school; these parents do their kids homework for them or yell at them to behave in public. Parents should understand children that are taught at an early age to make their own decisions don’t need to be spanked or constantly hounded to do school work. These children know what happens if they display unfavorable behavior in public when they get home: they’ll be in a time out or lose something they value. It’s their decision.
Teaching kids to make their own decisions will help them learn consequences. Consequences will have them hesitate when their sixteen and about to do something incredibly stupid or foolish. Consequences will have them practice safe sex. Consequences will help guide them through the rest of their lives. If you teach a child consequences when their young, then they will determine a natural instinct to hesitate and think through every decision they make in life. Children will grow to be comfortable with their decisions and secure that they can make the rights ones for them. We make hundreds of decisions every day, from what to wear to should I make that left hand turn with that car so close? Give children the ability to make decisions on their own and they will pass that on to their kids. You could change more than one life by teaching a simple life skill.