The Footprints of Fatherhood

A monument says, “At least I got this far”.  A footprint says “I got this far and then I moved on.” (William Faulkner).  It says “I’ve been here. I know this place. I’ve had the experience. I can give you directions and guidance as you follow and then one day make your own.

We need to leave footprints for our children.  Here are nine footprints I think matter and why our kids need them from us:

  1. Your courage – because the world can be scary and very much unknown to them. They need to see a dad who takes on the world and survives (doesn’t mean conquer or not come through unscathed)
  2. Your honesty – because people will be trying to coerce your children into many things, much of that won’t be true or have their best interest at heart.
  3. Your respect – because children are individuals and will learn to make their own decisions. They are worthy of your care and nurturing.
  4. Your shelter – because children can’t protect themselves or provide what they need to keep themselves safe.
  5. Your passion/vision – because children don’t see all the potential in the future. They need to be guided to what the possibilities are for them.
  6. Your wisdom – because children are learning how to navigate the world. Your experience gives a base for them to learn from.
  7. Your integrity – because children are fragile. They need a dad who is strong, trustworthy, and consistent that they can depend on.
  8. Your leadership/authority – because children are looking for guidance. If they don’t get it from you, they will find it other places (and this can be a scary proposition).
  9. Your trust – because children learn from experience. They need to be allowed to try new things, even if there may be some pain involved.

And remember, no one can give to others what they don’t have ourselves.

Have you got what it takes to leave solid, clear footprints for your children?

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