By: Peter Sessum
This is one of the duties that men must take seriously. Children look to their fathers as examples of how men should be and how they should be treated by men. You have one chance to set a good example, don’t waste it.
Do as I do is the best way
The parenting style of “do as I say, not as I do” is not an effective one for raising a boy into a good young man. All they learn is that as long as they are small they have to follow the rules, but at some point they can do what they want. That is an excellent way to raise a little douche, but not a man of value.
It will also teach your daughter that men are not good for their word or that men have different expectations for themselves than for others. The last thing any good man should want is to have his daughter date a trifling man. Someone that can go out to the strip club with his friends but expects her to wait for him at home. Why wouldn’t she go along with it? After all, rules not applied equally is how she was raised.
Your little man will be his own man some day
How you treat women, especially his mother, is going to be the example for how he treats women. If women are treated as valued, he will value women, if you treat them like pieces of meat then he will do the same. Of course men who do not respect women won’t think that is bad but it doesn’t set him up for success. Especially in love. Yes, douchebags can find dates and occasionally even with quality women. But I have rarely seen them find longtime happiness if they do not treat their women well.
What kind of Prince Charming will your little princess look for?
In the nature vs. nurture discussion, you have the most control over the nurture aspect. How your little girl sees you treat women, especially her mother, is how she is going to think relationships work. If you want her to be with a partner that treats her well, you need to treat her and her mother well.
This can be difficult after a split, but that is when it most crucial. When she is older she will understand how a good man will be in difficult times. It is also important to be good to a woman you say you love. You are setting the bar for how men should treat her.
Anyone looking to court my daughter has a high bar. I observe birthdays and holidays properly and do nice things at random moments. I even bring my daughter flowers from time to time. Since her mother does not like breakfast in bed, Anna sometimes is the happy recipient of a wake up waffle. She now understands that someone that has a romantic love for her should treat her better than her father does.
Keep in mind, I consider this the minimum standard. The minimum standard is a starting point, not a goal. So at bare minimum, any romantic interests need to be nice to her for no other reason than to be nice and make her smile. In any long term relationship she should feel like it is the best she has ever been treated. If they aren’t better to her than I am, they need to go.
There is some good news
If a guy is a piece of trash and does not set a good example there is some good news. It is possible that he will be viewed as a cautionary tale of what not to do. To be a good man and father I pretty much do the opposite of what my father does. It has worked out great so far so I see no need to change. You can also sit now a young child and explain why that kind of behavior is bad.
However, if you are one of those men setting a poor example it is your duty to do better. If you want your little one to be happy later in life, it is time to set that example. After all, you are the standard for how all men will be judged in the future. A good lesson can be that if given another chance a person can do better. It might inspire your own kid to not give up and give something another try.