Fatherhood Awaits: A Few Thoughts and P.S.’s

Derek Ouellette —  June 10, 2011

I’m not a dad, but I am a son. Does that qualify me to write a post reflecting on Father’s Day? I think so. Because although I’m not a father yet, I’m beginning to get ancy.

When my wife and I married we set a plan to not open the baby factory for five years – that was four years ago this August. So fatherhood has been on my mind.

My brother Ryan and his son Evan

Growing up I considered myself lucky that everything seemed to come in pairs for me. I had two moms and two dads, two brothers and two sisters, two cats and two dogs. Yes, we had one of those family dynamics (I think about 50% of all North Americans can relate with me here).

But I also remember yearning – and in many ways I still yearn – for that close fatherly figure to take me under his wing, playfully rough up my hair, tell me he’s proud of me and then teach me how to put a desk together.

I believe fatherhood is immensely important. I’ve watched closely father’s who have been successful at parenting and father’s who have not, and I have over the years compiled a mental list of qualities that make up a good one. Here are a few of the things near the top of that list:

  • A father prepares his son to respect women by loving his mother in a way that respects and honours her.
  • A father prepares his daughter to find a good man by treating her as a precious woman of great value.
  • A father invests time into his children. Taking the time to listen to them and to engage them, to counsel them, play with them and at every opportunity, to prepare them for life.
  • A father disciplines because he loves and because he cares. He has a heavy hand when necessary, but more often that hand is used to wipe away tears from their eyes.
  • A father handles money appropriately and honourably, explaining to his children at the proper time why and how he makes the financial decisions that he does.
  • A father leads the family with quite strength and the utmost integrity, never faltering to put his family before himself.
  • A father understands when his children make mistakes, he loves them and helps them through tough times. He wisely does not always bail them out, but he endures their consequences with them, and lets them know he’s there.
  • Can you think of  something from your experience to add to this list?… (leave a comment!)
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Derek Ouellette

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a husband, new dad, speaker, writer, christian. see my profile here.
  • Wendy Hedrick

    Very Nice Son!
    I am very Proud of you!
    I am sure you will be a Good Father, one day!
    Love always, Your Mother

  • Timothy T Parent

    Very nicely stated & with these values, you Mom is right, you will make a good Dad.

  • http://vagantepriest.blogspot.com/ FrGregACCA

    Well, Derek, all fathers start out as sons, and our experience in that role cannot but help shape our careers as fathers.

    As one who is a father myself (both biological and spiritual), I am glad that you have put thought into what it takes to be a good father. I think the following point you make is especially important: “He wisely does not always bail them out, but he endures their consequences with them, and lets them know he’s there.”

    “He endures the consequences with them.” I’m very glad you already know that!

  • http://covenantoflove.net Derek Ouellette

    Hahaha… leave it to my mom to leave the first comment!

    Thanks mom… love ya.

  • http://robertbeeson.com robert beeson

    Nicely written. I would also add that a good father admits when he is wrong. Showing weakness to this degree allows both father and chid to learn that ‘process’ is as important as destination.

    • http://covenantoflove.net Derek Ouellette

      That’s a powerful point to make Robert, thanks for adding it. “‘process’ is as important as destination”. Love it.

  • Morgan Guyton

    A father lets God correct him through his children. When my five year old son tells me not to say the word “stupid” or “talk mean,” he is not being out of line and disrespectful but speaking the exhortation to me that God has given him to say. I need to be reminded of that.