Our grandfathers knew exactly what was expected of them in their roles as fathers: go to work, put food on the table, step in and provide discipline when the kids are especially unruly. But, today, the expectations for Dads are much more negotiable. Our culture at large still hasn’t quite made up its mind about whether it is best for Dads to be more traditionally masculine, or if they should be working toward a more balanced and flexible approach to fatherhood. On the plus side, this means that men get to decide for themselves what kinds of fathers they will be. On the minus side, having to make choices that will have a significant impact on who our children ultimately become can bring on a lot of uncertainty, fear, and anxiety.
In this episode, Dan and author Jeremy Adam Smith encourage fathers to do some soul-searching, decide what their goals are at every stage of their children’s lives, and make conscious and intentional decisions that will help them be the kind of fathers their kids need them to be. They also discuss the particular challenges of parenting adolescents and of being a stepfather, and explain how men can work to improve their listening skills, compassion, and communication.