Posted by: joshjasper | February 12, 2009

Being a Better Father

This evening I had the opportunity to teach a class at NICC titled “Being a Better Father.”  It was an incredible experience, one that I am grateful to the college for hosting, and for the participants involved.  I was the first to acknowledge that I am by no means an expert on fatherhood.  The class quickly became more of a discussion amongst a fairly small group of men about what it means to be a father, the obstacles that men face in realizing their potential in fatherhood, and how we can do what is best for our children.

Many terms were thrown around when talking about fatherhood…role model, mentor, provider, protector, disciplinarian, etc., etc.  During the class we took the time to examine some of those terms such as role model so that we could truly be that positive role model that so many men aspire to be for their children.  Because the reality is that many men that are now fathers did not learn how to be a role model from their fathers for a variety of reasons.  The men in the class tonight should be commended for their strength and bravery in sharing some of the experiences they had growing up with their fathers and how those very experiences have shaped their lives to this day.  Until we as fathers have the courage to look inward and truly examine our strengths and weaknesses that contribute to our ability or inability, to be a “better father,” we may never be the father that we want to be for our children.  Speaking of courage and strength, I must also commend the men that attended this evening’s class because of their recognition that they don’t know everything about fatherhood and that they could learn from others fathers.  A class like this should be filled every night because it is not about men not being effective fathers, but rather, it is about fathers wanting to truly be better fathers, because no one father is perfect.

A couple of men in the class shared the pain that they felt because they are unable to spend the amount of time they would like with their children due to the lack of relationship they have with the child’s mother.  Their pain was real, and it made me so very appreciative of every minute of every day that I spend with my son.  I couldn’t imagine anything less.  It was important for those men to hear that even though their time is limited with their children, that time is precious and incredibly powerful for the child.  With so much external stimuli, I think we often times forget the enormous impact that we make on our children.

The men I met tonight are good fathers and they helped me become a “better father.”

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Responses

  1. Are there any plans to hold another “Being a Better Father” session? If so, I’d like to participate.


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