Last Father's Day, I wrote 10 lessons learned on being a "Balanced Dad" based on a similar concept espoused by my college fraternity's mission to "build balanced leaders for the world's communities."
The article apparently struck a nerve among many readers, who willingly shared their "dadhood" wisdom with me. The following are 10 of the best lessons learned received that offered additional wisdom for dads:1. Share core values
Share your core values and purpose with your kids and make them real to them as they grow older, so they grow to understand what you stand for as a dad. Obviously, living them out in front of them is critical.
JACK FRANGIPANE, MEDTRONIC2. Teach discretion
Tell your children: "You have the power to choose your action and/or reaction. You are responsible for your behavior. Choose wisely based on the principles we have taught you -- respect and dignity for all people, places and things. We are caretakers and servants to promote and build up others."
MIKE GROSSO, GENERAL MILLS3. Commit to doing your best
My commitment is simply that I'm going to do the best I know how to do, and give everything I've got to give to my kids. Then whatever happens, happens. But I've done what I can. The 18 years you have them goes fast, so make the most of it.
DICK DEBLIECK, SUMMIT MANAGEMENT4. Help children make real-time decisions
We require our 8-year-old to make real-time decisions about how he wants to spend his money. We set weekly/monthly goals for savings and charity, too. The idea is if he chooses "this," he cannot choose "that." The most difficult part of this exercise is the parental discipline to require him to actually choose, and not subsidize.
WELLS FARGO5. Have fun!
Have fun, be silly, and be a goofball. Sing silly songs, play dress-up, or watch stars twinkle. Because you have the greatest job and purpose in the world: To be a father to your little angel.
BILL MCCausland, Sig Ep district governor6. Travel together
Take a weekend trip with them each year to a destination they research and select. The shared experience, anticipation, selection of the destination, and the itinerary are all wonderful. Best of all, they can't escape you so there is great time to talk about things, and being away from home stimulates the candor and openness that you would not be able to duplicate when home.
GREG HEINEMANN, DENALI MARKETING7. Be prepared for a long journey!
It's one thing to be out of the house, it's another thing to be out of the checkbook.
DON GIACHETTI, TACT SOLUTIONS, INC.8. Encourage travel
Travel whenever you can, wherever you can, even if it is just with a backpack and a hundred bucks. You will never run out of world, and you will never stop being amazed.
RANDY HERMAN, SIGNSOURCE9. Provide perspective
At a men's ministry conference a few years back, I heard an individual share the following philosophy:
"If you want to get society right, get the family right.
"If you want to get the family right, get the marriage right.
"If you want to get the marriage right, get the man right.
"If you want to get the man right, get him right with God."
I am trying to inspire my children to have an eternal perspective, integrity even when no one is looking, and focus on their walk with the Lord as they navigate life. They are still young and we are taking baby steps together.
HARTSFIELD HOME THEATER10. Encourage!
The most important word in the English language is "encourage" -- to give courage to one another.
My kids are now ages 12 and 9, and my wife and I continue to learn every day how to strive to do our best. Here's a "Blue Ocean" exercise to help you think about how to become a more balanced dad over the next year -- what do you need to: Increase? Reduce? Eliminate? Create?
Have a wonderful Father's Day, and an inspiring year.
Jeff Prouty lives and works in Eden Prairie. He is founder and chairman of the Prouty Project, a strategic planning and organization development firm. Share your "balanced dad" wisdom with Jeff at email@example.com.