How to be the best dad

Doug Stewart
Jun 18, 2017 · 3 min read

I was standing in Barnes & Noble completely freaking out. It was 2011 and my wife was seven months pregnant. I didn’t know how to be a good dad, I didn’t know if I could be a good dad, and I definitely didn’t know if I would be a good dad.

I needed to fix this problem. I needed some books to teach me how to be a good dad.

I left Barnes & Noble with a couple of books and didn’t feel satisfied so I drove up to Edward McKay (a used bookstore) to see what they had. That’s where I hit the jackpot.

I walked out of Edward McKay with like seven more books.

Over the next couple of days I try to absorb as much as humanly possible from what I was reading. But for some reason the anxiety didn’t subside.

A few days later,I was telling a friend about all the books I had purchased and how nervous and anxious I was feeling. his response was,

Those books aren’t going to help you, bro. — Insensitive friend

Dang, I need to find some new friends. I couldn’t believe what I just heard. He didn’t think I would be a good dad either.

I think he could tell I was offended, so he quickly told me that I had misunderstood. He went on to say,

The books don’t make you a good dad. The fact that you were willing to go out and buy 11 books shows that you already are.

I’ve never forgot how powerful of a lesson that was. We so often look for tactics when the truth is, The heart is the most important part.

I didn’t want to mess up but I know that it’s an inevitable part of being a parent. So now, instead freaking out about how I could screw up, I follow this very simple parenting philosophy,

I will do the absolute best I can to raise my daughter to be a confident, empathetic, self-aware human being who loves God and loves her neighbor.

And when she’s 21, I’ll apologize to her for all the times I wasn’t able to be the dad that she needed.

Beings the best dad isn’t about being perfect, it’s about showing up, leading by example and being willing to apologize when you’re wrong. Our kids don’t need perfect parents, they need us.

Here’s to the dads. Happy Fathers Day 👱

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***Grammatical errors & misspellings complements of dyslexia : — )***

Doug Stewart

Written by

Dale Carnegie instructor | TEDx Presenter | Coach | Podcaster | Storyteller — Lives in Raleigh, North Carolina

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