Being a father is one of the most fantastic gifts you can have in life. It is a beautiful opportunity that can bring great joy.
On the other hand, it can also bring great struggles. Why?
Because men are taught many things in life—how to play basketball, how to bike, work, or repair broken things at home—but no one is taught how to be a father. And unless you become one, most of the time you have no idea what it’s like to ride the rollercoaster called fatherhood.
Don’t worry, amazing dads. Beyond Small Talk is here for you!
Media practitioner and a father of five Anthony Pangilinan shares 6 helpful tips on how you can be a better haligi ng tahanan and be your child’s greatest M-E-N-T-O-R:
M – Meet them at their need
Some parents are too caught up in providing what they think is best for their child that they sometimes forget what their child actually needs.
Asking your child, “Is there anything you need?” or “How can I be a better parent?” can be nerve-racking, but Focus on the Family suggests that you ask your child so you’d know how you can love them better.
It’s also good to consider that different people have different needs. You cannot assume that your panganay has the same needs as your bunso. When in doubt, ask! Whether they’re 8 or 18, ask and discover what each person’s unique needs are.
E – Encourage the heart
Do you frequently give your child praise, words of encouragement, or a pat on the back?
Fathers, encouragement is one of the best gifts you can offer to your child. Your positive words and supportive gestures don’t just inspire them—it helps them become strong individuals.
The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University backs this up, suggesting that the single most common factor for developing resilience is the presence of at least one supportive adult in a child’s life. It’s time to be your child’s greatest cheerleader!
“Sometimes, encouragement means telling them, ‘You can do it, fight!’ or sometimes you just cry with them and say, ‘I grieve with you, son. I am sorry this happened.’ That’s both encouraging to the heart,” Anthony explains.
N – Nurture their skills
Although your child’s skills, knowledge, and talents can be honed in school, they will surely treasure the moments you support their dreams.
Unlock your child’s potential by providing them with the tools, materials, and opportunities that will further nurture their gifts.
As for Anthony, taking singing lessons with his daughter serves as a good avenue to nurture her skills and a great bonding experience for them, “Right now I am practicing singing with my 10-year-old daughter. Find their talent, and then you nurture the nature in them.”
T – Take time
Fathers are often too busy working to provide for their children, that sometimes they couldn’t find time to spend with them.
The trick is not to find time, but to make time. To intentionally set aside a moment to spend with your child. It doesn’t have to be a grand vacation—the little things and simple routines in your daily lives are great opportunities to strengthen your bond.
So whether it’s eating together, enjoying a movie marathon, or asking how their day went—you can make them feel that you are present in their lives and willing to give the necessary attention, love, and care they deserve.
O – Open doors
Not all fathers have the connections and resources to cement a successful future for their children. But if you do, you can help your child thrive in life by opening doors of opportunities for them.
“I do that for my kids,” Anthony said. “I tell them, ‘I know that person, do you want to have your internship there?’ or I ask my business partners if they want to partner with my children or get them as endorsers. You have to open doors of opportunities for your children.”
But what if you don’t have those kinds of connections? What if you have limited resources?
Fathers, it is best to rely on your limitless God. Ask for God’s provision and believe that He can supply the needs of your children.
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19 ESV)
R – Reflect a life that they will want to live
To Anthony, living by example and inspiring your children would be the biggest challenge of all. Don’t worry if you fail at being the best dad sometimes. Truth is, there are no perfect fathers here on earth.
Thankfully, there is a perfect God who can help you to be a better father. So, seek God’s guidance in leading your family and living a life that reflects His love and goodness.
“There must be some inspiration in your life, too. It’s not that you are perfect—but you are struggling, you are in pursuit. God will honor that, and your children will see that. They will see God in your life. They will say, ‘Thanks, dad!’ Then you’ll say, ‘It’s not me. That’s Christ in me,’” Anthony ended.