by Chris Jones

I’m a natural nurturer. This means as a father, I lean toward being more affectionate while choosing to see every situation my children encounter—positive or negative—as a teachable moment. My end game is having children who can think freely, assess situations before they enter them and understand how to deconstruct mistakes in order to learn from them. It’s sometimes a tall order, but my wife and I get in there with them often to reinforce these concepts.

As a dad, I take great pride in coaching my children through life. I know that while they are “mine,” they do not belong to me. They’re individuals with their own thoughts, feelings, perceptions and preferences. My job is to help them unlock interests within, discover who they are, and guide them into adulthood.

Easier said than done most days. Kids don’t come banging down the door to learn about personal development from their dads. They look at their dad in two facets: a provider for the family and a fountain of entertainment. And I’m OK with both.

When I think of those two roles, here is what I love about them…

I love when my kids and I drive down the interstate with the music up, bobbing our heads and singing along to songs we all enjoy.

I love watching my kids eat dinner knowing that the work we do satisfies their appetites.

I love having movie night on Saturdays with my boys. It’s an opportunity for each of us to share our cinematic tastes with one another.

I love dancing in the living room with my daughter. She laughs at my silly moves and I enjoy when she stands on my feet as we sweep across the floor.

I love involving my kids in my hobbies. Hayden has taken particular interest in stock trading with me, while Quincy gravitates toward astronomy.

I love that our money can afford them opportunities for sports, activities, and entertainment they enjoy.

I love showing my kids how the money is made. We take trips to mom’s job at the taproom and hang out there to play games and I let them come along to some of my story assignments.

I love demonstrating love to them. If I do nothing else, I want my kids to see how a healthy marriage looks. I want them to know that I adore their mother. It’s amazing to see that when I’m excellent in this area, their behavior is different, their response to her is different, and my house feels different when I lead in this area.

As a dad, I take the responsibility of raising children into responsible adults seriously, but I aim to keep it loose and light, too. To my fellow fathers, we may be the butt of some jokes, but we’re the ever-present head that our family looks up to for guidance, love, advice, and plain old fun. We salute you.