They say it takes a village to raise a child and that is very true. I have been extremely lucky to have a wife who works with me to teach, love and inspire our daughters every day. Another way that has helped me is the work I have done here at Life of Dad. Over the years I have come to know some amazing dads through the podcasts I produced and hosted here at Life of Dad. In all of these conversations I have been able to take away something new on how I could be a better dad. I am forever grateful to these dads who took the time to chat with me and share their thoughts on fatherhood. These guys gave me some great Dadvice. 

What Makes A Great Dad?

Dads are always in search of that answer so we can say we did the best for our kids and prepared them for when they go on their own. You can read books on parenting. You can talk with other dads you admire. I have found another way that can lead you to become a great father. You need to be good with yourself first so you can parent in a positive way. That comes with a strong and open mind and a loving heart. 

Past generations of dads have had the tendency to isolate their feelings. They didn’t open up. They didn’t share their fears. Some of those men were dealing with a lot of pain. They were not sure on how to share those feelings. 

Thankfully today we have seen men sharing their fears. These conversations have helped other men open up. Not only is this necessary for men, but it is a great way to teach our kids to always ask for help. It is an important life lesson to pass on to the next generation. 

How Dads Can Be There For Each Other

We may not be isolated in sharing our feelings anymore, but with the pandemic we are isolated from each other. Now, more than ever, we need to be there for each other. So guys I have a task for you. Talk to your family and ask them how they are doing with everything that is going on. After you talk with your family, reach out to some of your buddies. See how they are doing. Check in on them. 

Recently I had a Zoom chat with my college roommates. We talked about life, family and gave advice to one of our roommates who is going to be a dad soon. We shared our experiences and what to expect. It was fun to catch up with them. It felt like we didn’t miss a beat from our time in college which was about 20 years ago. 

We all left that chat feeling a bit better. We laughed. It felt good. I was able to recharge my batteries. That is something we all need. That is why having a group of guys to chat with about all topics including fatherhood is a must. Find your tribe. Find people you trust. It will help with all aspects of your health. 

The Importance Of Staying Connected

Why is this so important? Making sure we take care of ourselves allows us to be able to take care of others and keeps us great role models for our kids. We are happy to team up with the good folks over at Movember because they are all about making sure guys are taking care of themselves. 

Movember is the leading charity changing the face of men’s health on a global scale, focusing on mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer. The charity raises funds to deliver innovative, breakthrough research and support programs that enable men to live happier, healthier and longer lives. In addition to tackling key health issues faced by men, Movember is working to encourage men to stay healthy in all areas of their life, with a focus on men staying socially connected and becoming more open to discussing their health and significant moments in their lives.

Starting a conversation with a friend, partner or colleague can be hard, especially if you assume someone might be struggling. We often don’t know where to start or what to say – or we worry we’ll say the wrong thing.

That’s where Movember Conversations comes in. A free interactive online tool, Movember Conversations offers practical guidance on how to start a difficult conversation, how to be a good listener and how to create a setting of trust and openness.

Based on the ALEC framework (Ask, Listen, Encourage action, Check in) developed by R U OK?, Movember Conversations presents scenarios particularly relevant in today’s world: job loss, social isolation and family pressures, and uses simulated conversations to explore and practice how you might navigate a difficult conversation with someone you care about.

Following this model will help you and your friends. So instead of the tie or golf shirt this Father’s Day, make sure you give the gift of friendship. Pick up the phone and reach out to your friends. Not only will this be a gift for you and your friends it will be a gift for your kids and their kids. This is something we need to do year round. It takes a village to raise kids, but it also takes that same village to raise adults. 

Sharing The Dadvice 

I have shared some of my thoughts on fatherhood and gave you some of my Dadvice. Now it is time to hear from some fantastic dads. As we approach Father’s Day consider this as my Father’s Day gift to you. The following is from dads I trust and respect. These dads are fantastic people. They all have helped me become a better father. I know that they will do the same for you. Follow @MovemberUSA this Father’s Day for more Dadvice, and share your own.

Parenting with consistency and compassion is the best way to end up with persistent and compassionate kids. Greg Washington 

Best dad advice I can give? Never stop learning. Your children are going to open new worlds to you. Sometimes you will be the guide. Sometimes you will be the cheerleader. Sometimes you will be the learner. The important thing? That you allow yourself to grow and go. Creed Anthony 

Your presence never has to be boring, make your presence felt #FatherhoodIsLitJames Lopez

Kids start watching you from the moment they are born. Be present, teach tolerance, respect and the value of hard work. The rest of it you’ll figure out as you go along. Chris Read

This may sound obvious but support your kids in whatever interests they have, even when it’s something that is outside of your comfort zone or your own experience. Your impact as a Dad, by showing you care, goes much further than you can fully realize in the moment. Sean François 

Being a Dad is a unique opportunity that shouldn’t be squandered. Take every moment to guide, advise, love and appreciate your kids. We are here but a brief time. – Rob Ainbinder

I have two pieces of advice I always give. One lighthearted, one deeper. But they both will change your life. 1) Grab all the free napkins you come across and stash them everywhere. Glove box, pockets, backpack, workbag etc. Knowing you have a stack accessible anytime, anywhere does wonders. 2) Let your kids fail. You are there as a safety net, not a bubble. One learns best through failure. If you can be their safety net to help pick them up and brush them off (literally and figuratively), they can learn their lessons, benefit from the wisdom that comes from them, but have a strong resource to get them back on the road. Jim Lin 

Give yourself grace and surround yourself with other dads. It is easy to think negatively about your abilities as a father. However, that negativity can stunt your growth as a father. Think positively about your abilities and you will be a more confident father for your kids. You got this! Brock Lusch

Be yourself! While you may see other dads and want to be like them your child will love you for who you are. In time you’ll find your groove and be the dad that you need to be. – Victor Aragon