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Friday, June 19, 2015

What Kids Need Most from Their Dads

It's almost Father's Day, so let's talk dads.

Dads do tons of things every day to provide for their kids. They're pros at wrestling with them and playing tickle games. Their strength is unparalleled when it comes to carrying kids on their shoulders. They can assemble toys using a minimum of bad words in the process. Well, sometimes. But anyway, what do kids need most from Dad?

Their blessing.

There isn't a child around who doesn't want to know their dad is on their side and sees the good in them. They already know they mess up. They don't need that reminder. But gentle correction paired with a healthy dose of blessing is a winning combination.

So dads, here is a list of 20 phrases you might use to bless your children. Use them generously. Come up with your own.

  1. I'm proud of you.
  2. You're getting really good at that.
  3. I can see that you've grown in that area in which you've struggled.
  4. You make me smile.
  5. You're so strong.
  6. I admire your courage.
  7. I trust your judgment.
  8. It's okay. We all make mistakes. 
  9. I love seeing you show such respect to ______.
  10. Thank you. You're a huge help to me.
  11. You help me be a better person.
  12. I learn a lot from you.
  13. You're an expert at __________.
  14. Someday you're going to make someone an awesome husband/wife.
  15. You're so funny.
  16. You've got great leadership qualities.
  17. You really persevered through that.
  18. You have such a big heart.
  19. You always make me feel better when I'm down.
  20. You're growing in your faith.
If it's been a while since you've taken time to bless your child, do it today. A child can't hear these things enough. And while you're at it, add a peek into their future at the end of these blessings. Something like, "You've got such great leadership ability. You'd make a wonderful _________ (pastor, CEO, teacher...whatever you think your child would be good at.)" Blessings like these help your child see beyond today and work toward their dreams of tomorrow. 

And by the way, kids never outgrow wanting to hear their father's approval. I still can hear my dad telling me I was a good driver. And that wasn't just when I was getting my license. He told me that even as an adult. Maybe it seems silly, but I loved it. Probably because it was coming from my dad. And really, that's all that mattered. 

Bless your children more than you criticize them. It will pay off in your relationship with them and in helping them become the best version of themselves.

What phrases would you add to this list? How did your father or mother bless you?