The Father Factor

How Great Dads SERVE

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Jun 15, 2021



Father’s Day is a great time for dads to reassess their fathering. This coming Father’s Day is no exception.

Three simple questions can get dads started on an annual assessment.

  • What are my strengths as a dad that I should keep doing?
  • What are my challenges as a dad that I should seek to improve?
  • What advice can I use that can help me double down on my strengths or address my challenges?

It’s that third question that I want to speak to in today’s post.

One of the tasks of every staff member at National Fatherhood Initiative® is to keep an eye out for advice that can help dads leverage their strengths or address their challenges as dads and parents.

One of my favorite givers of such advice is Eric Barker who writes the blog Barking Up the Wrong Tree. That’s because the advice he gives is not only spot on. It’s because his advice is grounded in science. And it’s also because his blog is enjoyable to read—the guy is absolutely hilarious!

In a recent post, Eric identified five things—which dads can remember by the mnemonic SERVE—that can make any dad become an awesome parent.

  • Self-Care: Happy parents make for happy kids. As James Baldwin once said: “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”
  • Emotional Intelligence: Your job is not merely to protect little John Connor until he is old enough to lead the resistance against the evil machines. He needs the emotional intelligence to be a good rebel leader. So remember to listen, label, problem-solve, and teach empathy.
  • Rituals: Have family dinners together. Get superhero Grandmom on Zoom.
  • Values: Without these your kids are going to be kryptonite to decent human beings. Be a bard who sings the storied history of the family dynasty. What’s your family crest? (Don't say “toothpaste.”)
  • Empower: If you don’t start teaching them to be autonomous at 7, they will be living with you at 37.

I encourage you to share this advice with the dads you serve to help them reassess their fathering this Father’s Day.

To learn more about the science behind SERVE—and if you’re clueless about who James Baldwin and John Connor are—click here to read Eric’s post.

Are you looking for sage advice to share with dads this Father’s Day?

Are you looking for such advice grounded in science and shared in a way that dads can easily understand and enjoy reading?

Cutting Edge Tips for Running an Exceptional Fatherhood Program (On Demand)

Topics: Featured, General Fatherhood Program Resources, Tips for Success, Any Dad/Community Based

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