The TOS crew has given us a challenge to do a post about fathers. I have to admit, this is a tough one for me. Don’t misunderstand me, I loved my dad, but we didn’t have the easiest relationship. Therefore when I think of dads, that relational difficulty sometimes gets in the way. I got to thinking though about how my dad affected me as a teen, and what lessons he taught me in those important years. Dads are so important in the lives of teens, we mustn’t forget that! Dads teach teens important skills!
Dad taught me
- Devotion to God doesn’t have to be perfect. My dad had a firm faith in the Lord but it wasn’t a perfect faith and he let his children know that. He served the Lord faithfully, but admittedly was short-tempered, lacking in patience, and more. YET through that… he served the Lord and taught us how to pray.
- To parent better than you were parented. My dad did not have a good upbringing. Some would call it abusive. He made a CHOICE that he would not raise his children the way he was. The older I got the more understand the choices he made. As I have parented my son I have shown him more grace and patience than I was shown as a child growing up. In turn, I hope that my son will meld discipline and grace better than I did, with I hope, my eventual grandchildren. This is a biblical principle as well as seen in Deuteronomy 5.
- Work hard! At whatever it is that you do … do it well and work hard to accomplish the tasks set before you. It doesn’t matter the job you do as long as you do it well.
- Be kind to the critters under your care. Try to not be impatient with them, be careful with pregnant animals, be mindful of bulls as they can do serious damage, feed the best food you can, and don’t make your animals into soft pets or they will be useless as working animals.
You see, I saw my dad doing all this as a child, but as a teen is when it really started to impact me. As I starting putting all the pieces together and seeing the choices he made, it made an impact. Did it make our relationship easier? No. In fact we went through tough years, but in the end we came out okay.
But you know what?
Teens do this. They look at their parents critically during their teens years. They analyze how they were parented, they learn to ask questions, and formulate ideas for their future. Teens examine, it seems, everything as they push toward being adults. Dads help in this process as they answer their sons questions and show they how to be stand-up people. How to live out their faith and how to care for those that surround you. Even those men of few words! 🙂
It got me to thinking, what things are there for dads teach their teens?
Additional Dad taught Skills
- How to fix things, or to jury-rig a solution, or simply how to use tools.
- Confidence in one’s abilities
- Being fiscally responsible.
- The importance of a firm handshake
- Make plans, double-check them, follow through. Be prepared for glitches along the way.
- Have a reputation worth having. If you say you’ll do something, follow through. Be honest in your dealings.
- Learn the basics of taking care of your automobile. Changing the oil, driving a stick shift and learning what different noises a car makes and what they mean.
- Learn the fundamentals of math, it’ll serve you well in every aspect of life.
- Be willing to change your mind if the situation warrants it.
NOW… Lest anyone take offense! Moms have a big role in raising their teens as well and can teach all these skill sets as well… but dads do it in their own way don’t they? And sometimes, we need each other to reinforce the behaviours needed right? Two examples are better than one eh? 🙂 Besides… we don’t all have the same set of skills, so having help, broadens the horizons of these pre-adults and that’s not a bad thing right?
Can you think of anything that I missed? Dads teach teens important skills… but I couldn’t possibly have thought of them all. What skills did you learn from your Father? What skills do you see your spouse teaching your teenagers?