We often say fathering isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. In that marathon, think of January 1 as a mile marker.
You’ve reached this point in the marathon and you’re still moving forward, and that’s good news. Maybe the hills and the heat on the course so far have you feeling pretty badly beaten up; maybe you thought you were well prepared for this, but the reality of the challenge has caught you completely off guard and you feel like giving up; or maybe you feel pretty good about how you’re doing so far, but you sure are looking for that next refreshment station.
I go through all of that myself, for sure.
And in the fathering marathon, the changing of a new year is a great time to pause a moment, survey the course, take your pulse, and gear up for another year of winning with your kids.
That’s important because in this marathon, success doesn’t just mean finishing the course or achieving your personal best time; at stake here are your children’s hearts and minds and futures. For their sake, you can’t afford to lag behind or give up.
So briefly today, I want to remind you about a great tool that will help you assess your progress—the Championship Fathering Profile (CFP).
The CFP will give you a good idea how you’re progressing as a dad in thirteen different areas of fathering, based on your responses to a series of questions.
If you have a strong emotional connection to your child, that will come out in the Profile, so you’ll be affirmed and challenged to make the most of that strength.
If you had a tough home life as a child or didn’t have a great relationship with your dad, that too will show up, and you’ll get some perspective on how that affects your fathering as well as some of the ways to address it, so you can leave a stronger legacy for your kids.
How well do you resolve conflicts? Or lead your family morally and spiritually? Or work as a team with your child’s mother? How involved are you in your child’s education? You can get feedback on all that and more.
Maybe best of all, you’ll get some insights and inspiration about how to improve in those areas during the next leg of the journey. I’d urge you to get started with your Profile right here.
Dad, we realize that this fatherhood course has some tough spots, and all dads need some help and encouragement along the way. That’s why we’re here!
So please take full advantage of whatever we have that can benefit you. Plug into our resources. Read our weekly email and blog, and carry out a few of the action points each week. Search through the practical articles and other information at fathers.com. If you’re so inclined, check into our training program where we equip you to give presentations on fathering and help other dads step up in their role.
We have more great things planned for next year with you in mind, and we’re all looking forward to it. I hope you are, too. (And your kids don’t know now, but they’re the ones who will really love it.)
What are your goals as a dad for next year? Share with other dads and encourage one another either below or on our Facebook page.
Action Points for Dads on the Journey
- Take your Championship Fathering Profile results to your children’s mom or a close friend or family member and ask for their suggestions on how you can improve in specific areas.
- The New Year is also a “mile marker” for your children. Talk about specific accomplishments and/or developments you’ve seen in them during the past year, and make sure you include, “I’m proud of you.”
- Ask your kids about their resolutions for the next year—not to put pressure on them, but so you can help and encourage them along the way.
- Need a simple way to improve as a dad in the New Year? Commit more time to them; build it into your schedule right from the beginning, and then protect that time fiercely.
- Please consider a year-end gift of support to the National Center to help us continue and expand our outreach. Just go to fathers.com/donate.
Carey Casey is the CEO of the National Center for Fathering, a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the culture of fathering in America by enlisting 6.5 million fathers to make the Championship Fathering Commitment. NCF believes that every child needs a dad they can count on, and uses its resources to inspire and equip men to be the involved fathers, grandfathers and father figures their children need. Subscribe to his weekly email tip by clicking here: “Yes! I want tips on how to be a great dad who lives out loving, coaching and modeling for my children.