Nov 11, 2015


Guest Post By Ian Hawkins.

I had an interesting conversation with my daughter a while back. I was apologising for speaking to her with angry eyes and she said something so simple to me, and yet so powerful. “Dad, I don’t see any anger in your eyes, I only see kindness. It’s just your eyebrows that look a bit angry sometimes.” Brilliant! So while I was frustrated at myself for not bringing kind and loving body language, she was so beautifully reminding me that just because I had made a mistake, didn’t mean that I had angry eyes, it didn’t mean I was an angry person. What she saw was her “kind” Dad pulling an angry face.

It really made me think – how differently do we see the job we are doing as a Dad as opposed to how our kids see it? How many times do we make a mistake as a Dad, and then beat ourselves up because we focus so heavily on that one mistake?

How differently would you judge yourself if you saw yourself more how your children see you? Sure, they don’t like being told what to do, or when we inevitably make mistakes and speak in a way that is not as kind and loving as it could be. Essentially, however, they see the good in us, even when we continue to focus on the 1% of negative that we bring.
I believe that every day we should remind ourselves of what is so good about ourselves. To help get you started, here are 5 reasons why you should be celebrating the job you are doing as a Dad:

1. You make incredible sacrifices for your children daily.
Let’s face it, the moment you have kids your life changes massively. Whether it’s sport, exercise, lazing on the coach, outings of any kind, time with your partner and of course, sleep, rarely do we get as much as we used to. Life was much simpler beforehand. We take our children through the early stages of life where they need us constantly and then guide them through the rest of their life as children, helping them head in what we think is the right direction.

We all make sacrifices for our children, from the simple act of getting a drink of water when they should be sleeping, to picking them up in the middle of the night when they should have been home already – thanks Mum:). We work hard to provide the best possible life for them and what we hope is a positive and happy future. As a Dad, you should never lose sight of this, and the fantastic impact you are having on their future.

2. You provide emotional support on a daily basis.
Children of all ages experience a roller coaster of emotions some days, and we help them through it. We empathise with them when they are having a tough day, we do our best to help them up when they are feeling down, we nurse them through physical and emotional pain, we guide through challenging situations with siblings and friends, we are there for the meltdowns, the tantrums, the fear, the anxiety and sometimes share tears with them. We may not get it right every time, we do the best we can with the skills that we have. We often ride these emotional roller coaster rides with them. Whenever you feel like you are struggling in this area, ask your child, they’ll remind you how much you helped.

3. You are teaching your children amazing new skills each day.
Like it or not, our children learn off us, the good and the not so good. They learned to walk by watching us and giving it a crack themselves, we didn’t have to coach them. They continue to learn from us in this way for many years to come. They watch how we interact with other adults, how we dress, how we lead, and often mimic our voice, language and movements.

We’ve all marveled at something that our child does and wonder where they learned that. Chances are, you have directly or indirectly provided large chunks of the skills that were required for your child to achieve those results.

4. You give your child experiences that they will remember fondly well into their adult years. Together you are creating lasting memories for the future.

My best memories as a youngster are family holidays, outings we took as a family and activities we did together at home.
What may seem like just a trip to the park for you, may well end up being an vivid lifetime memory for your child that they will then share with their children.

It’s the reason why my wife and I try to share as many experiences as possible with our children. Don’t underestimate how impactful one-on-one time with your child or activities as a family are on the well-being of your child.

5. You show them unconditional love.
We love them when they make us laugh, when they perform, when they play, when they ignore us, when they have accidents, when something gets broken, when they make mistakes, when they scream, yell, run away, can’t sleep, won’t sleep, fight. We love them when they hit us or when they hug us. We love them when we are happy, sad, tired, frustrated, angry and when it feels like we are doing all the giving in the relationship and getting nothing in return. Even on the days when your children are the most challenging, you love them, you would do anything for them, and you would put your life on the line for them. And that is why it is so rewarding watching them grow, develop and achieve.
If you are human then you have probably made mistakes as a parent and spent some time mentally beating yourself up. I have and continue to do so some days. This is why it is so important to take at least 5 minutes every day to acknowledge why you are an extraordinary Dad. Like I said earlier, ask your children, they’ll have no trouble finding reasons why you are a great Dad.

Introducing Ian Hawkings. 
I have a passion for personal growth and inspiring others to reach their full potential. With a background as a trained teacher, years of leadership as a sportsperson and coach and over 10 years as a manager at Fox Sports Australia, I have a unique ability to bring out the best in others. After my own growth through the last 5 years of personal development, I decided I wanted to help other Dad’s to rediscover their passion and to inspire their own children to be their best. I pride myself in helping Dads through their transformation into high energy, calm, patient, loving and very happy individuals.
Twitter: @ianhawkins09