We were on a road trip to visit family when I had one of my biggest dad fails. My wife was pregnant with our second child and my oldest son was in his car seat behind me. With the stress of driving, a crying kid, and an uncomfortable wife in the passenger seat, I wanted to get to our destination quickly. The cruise control was engaged when a big blue truck came flying by us in the left lane. He slammed on his breaks and swerved in front of us. I put out my arm out to protect my wife and we were inches from crashing into this guy. He sped up and I’m not proud of what I did next.
I punched the gas and got up next to him, yelling as my temper flared. I said many things I do not want to repeat. After he yelled back at me and took a quick exit, I slowed down with my son screaming in the back. My wife, trembling in fear, looked at me with disbelief. I had dropped the ball. It was a long ride after I pulled this stunt. Have you ever dropped the ball as a dad?
Here are 5 typical dad fails and how we can fix them.
1. Reacting Instead of Responding
On our road trip, I reacted to the truck that cut us off. I should have responded. Instead of checking on my pregnant wife who was jolted by the seatbelt that could have hurt her and the baby, I reacted out of anger and ignored what I valued most. My reaction was uncalled for and didn’t help the situation. I have learned that when I do react, I must eat my pride and simply apologize.
Saying “I’m sorry” doesn’t make you weak. It makes you human.
Your kids need to see what it looks like when you mess up and how to respond appropriately.
2. Not Encouraging Your Kids Beyond Performance
On my freshman football team, I was the long snapper. I blew a game by snapping the ball over the punter’s head, allowing the other team to score and ultimately win. Afterward, I cried in my dad’s truck—not because of the loss but because I knew he was disappointed in me…