Have you ever heard the story of Korean Airlines Flight 007 (KAL007)? In short, on September 1, 1983, during the flight from Anchorage to Seoul, the ill-fated passenger plane deviated off course several degrees and into Soviet air space. A Russian fighter jet shot KAL007 down—killing all 269 passengers on board.
I wonder how many single fathers have fallen prey to being knocked off course by various scenarios—only to find themselves over enemy territory? Keeping stride with this series, let’s look at three more traps a single father can fall into if they are not careful.
I used to loathe continually having to tell my daughter “we don’t have money for that”. I got caught up trying to financially compete with her mom rather than parenting the way I was intended to. I’ve now found ways to create awesome memories that she and I can hold on to—and most of the time they come at minimal cost! You can do the same. When we can get to the point of no longer desiring what others have, but find true contentment in the blessings that are already around us, we reach a crucial point of maturity in our parenting. The things that can be seen are temporal; it’s the unseen things that last forever.
I recall one of the ugliest moments I ever expressed in front of my daughter. At the time, I was working long hours at a job I did not like. I often brought the toxic negativity of that place home with me. One night my daughter wouldn’t go to sleep and in a state of exhausted frustration, I yelled and banged my fist against the wall—putting a hole right in it. I saw a look of fear on her face that I never want to see again. I had hit a new low! I quickly apologized to my little girl and the next morning, wholeheartedly, confessed my wrong. It’s not uncommon for anyone to let life get the best of them; the smart move is to set boundaries to avoid disasters before they occur. Think lifestyle change: growing in your faith, healthy outlets such as exercise or hobbies, and knowing when too much is too much. In the end, a happier you equals greater quality time with your children.
3. Not recognizing their significance
For those of us with the lesser when it comes to parenting time, it can be possible to view ourselves as the other or second parent. This could not be further from the truth! Children with involved fathers (married or single) do significantly better overall academically, socially, and emotionally. Stay connected with your kids as much as you can. Use the time to really invest in your relationship together. When you don’t have them, find creative ways to surprise your kids for the next time they come over. Acquire wisdom from other parents to help you orchestrate special events such as a rite of passage and continuing family traditions (or beginning new ones). Every effort now is a new brick in your legacy as their father tomorrow.
“Every effort now is a new brick in your legacy as their father tomorrow.”
When it comes to falling into the traps of life, no one is immune. What separates the extraordinary parents from the ordinary is the ability to admit when we fall, learn from our mistakes, and make the necessary adjustments to prevent a re occurrence. You have everything you need to make it happen—now let’s put it to action!
SOUND OFF: How can you stay on course and not fall into these sorts of traps?
Matt Haviland writes to reach single dads in the community. He lives with his wife and daughter in Grand Rapids, MI.
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