The Championship Fathering blog by Carey Casey
Dads, here’s hoping your New Year is “happy” … and much more. Tweet this!
As we start this new year, I want to share a thought from one of our long-time friends at NCF, Mick Trombley from Pennsylvania.
He writes about the phrase that’s so common during these next few days: “Happy New Year.” Is that what we really mean? Do we want our close friends and family to settle for “happy”? How about something deeper—like contentment?
This idea has definite application to fathers. Listen to what Mick wrote:
As fathers, we’ve probably figured out what makes our kids happy—toys, money, vacations, and so on. The problem with chasing happiness through all these things is that they don’t last. We [need to] lead our children to contentment—an inner joy that lasts longer than momentary pleasures, enduring the inevitable disappointments and sorrows of life.
Well said, Mick.
We just finished a season where many of the messages are children heard were about making them discontent with what they have. The world is constantly inventing new things for us and our children to want. For example, those Christmas gifts our kids wanted so desperately? Well, there’s a good chance our kids are already tired of them, and they’re moving on to the next thing they just “have to have” that they think will make them “happy.”
So how do we foster contentment in our families? Let me share two ideas, though I hope you’ll add to these in the comments below or on our Facebook page:
First, reinforce your values and priorities. Talk with your family about what’s most important in life. Work to create caring, forgiving, and serving habits in your family. Simply put, guide your children to look beyond their own needs and think about caring for others. Brainstorm ways your family can serve those less fortunate during the next few months, and keep that practice going throughout the rest of the year.
Second, for contentment, emphasize relationships over things. In the midst of all the stuff you’ve bought and received during the holidays, now is a good time to do simple activities as a family—including one-on-one time with each of your kids.
Dad, consider what’s given you the most contentment in life. Share those lessons with your children. Tweet this! Now that is a real gift.
Carey Casey is the CEO of the National Center for Fathering (NCF), as well as a husband, father, and grandfather. He is author of Championship Fathering, co-author of It’s Great Being a Dad, and general editor of The 21-Day Dad’s Challenge. See more about Carey here.
NCF is a nonprofit organization seeking to improve the lives of children and establish a positive fathering and family legacy that will impact future generations by inspiring and equipping fathers and father figures to be actively engaged in the life of every child. You can sign up for NCF’s Today’s Father Weekly email here.