Why I’m Scared (and what you can do if you are scared, too)

We need more adults. As the world descends into chaos, parenting the next generation of leaders is becoming a front-line job.

There have always been wars and disease but the volatility and complexity of today’s problems bathe our families in stress hormones. The level of uncertainty is destabilizing for our kids due to a once-in-a-century pandemic, the lack of movement on irreversible climate change, and a new potential world war.

In a time when so many adults act like children, it’s cruel that our kids get robbed of their childhood. It feels too risky to allow kids to act like kids. The world requires more adults.

I don’t want to confuse this mission with the idea of treating your kids like adults or encouraging your kids to act like adults. I believe that kids grow through developmental phases, at their own speed.

Parenting is hard enough without putting added responsibility on our shoulders. I know. But the future is calling for more from us. In my opinion, we need to be more intentional in creating the ​​family culture where we are raising the adults the future is going to need.

We need to do more than raise adults who are healthy and safe. We need adults who will make things different. We need adults who will stand up for what’s right. We need adults who have the courage to speak up when it’s hard to.

I sound urgent because this mission is grounded in a clear understanding of the mess that our kids are inheriting. We are leaving them a world that is growing even more complex, ambiguous, volatile, and uncertain.

We can’t wait for the challenges that we face to get resolved. It is in our power to create the world that our kids deserve.

How can we find our way to a safer, more stable world?

I assert that it is up to us Dads to change the conversation. Our hands are full but there is little expectation for us to do more than show up occasionally, change a diaper, hold a baby, and throw a ball. The bar is very low.

That is why we are the sleeper agents that have the most leverage to impact our families’ future.

Dads can learn how to respond instead of reacting and to remain engaged when we are conditioned to blow up and walk out. When we get past our own programming, we can withstand intense and unpleasant emotions. In my experience coaching Dads, this is where the fun begins!

By creating networks with other intentional Dads, we can generate a magnetic pull.

This process has already begun with the City Dads Group, borne out of the expanding corps of stay-at-home-dads, and the non-profit Fathering Together, including their Dads with Daughters community and Dads for Gender and Racial Equity.

In the spirit of these great communities, I invite Dads of young kids and expectant fathers. You already are The Best Dad Ever in your kids’ eyes but how confident are you in your Dad Game?

When I was in your place, I did not feel confident at ALL. I had a Shame Game playing in my head 24/7/365 and just when I felt some modicum of success, the You-Don’t-Know-What-You-Don’t-Know Monster popped up to steal my mojo.

If I could go back to give myself advice, as a Dad to two young kids, I would reassure myself that I am not alone, that lots of Dads feel the way I do. I would say that there is no shame in not knowing. I would put an arm around my slumped shoulders to suggest that it helps to have people to talk to when the Shame Monster pops up.

Do you want to create a foundation now that will help your kids reach their potential?

Don’t get caught up in should-have’s and could-have’s so you can be fully present when your family’s greatest memories are being formed in the fun times.

You have the power to create great relationships with your kids and to build a solid emotional roof over their heads with your partner. You just have to invest in doing a few key things every day.

The foundation you are looking for is covered in the Be Best Dad Ever program. In six weeks, in a small group of committed Dads like yourself, you’ll learn how to be a great role model for your kids, how to deal with stress and anger, and how to have more fun with your family.

Grab your spot in our next cohort to begin your journey to Becoming The Best Dad Ever!

photo credit: Khongtham/iStockPhoto