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Are You a Family Man?


Check out Eric Payne’s Fatherhood Essentials

With all the nuances that come with being in a 24-7 committed relationship and the pressure that comes with raising kids, many marriages unravel within the first three years.  There’s no real science to it. All you can do is the best you can do. But you do have to do your best, if you want the best for your kids and your spouse or partner. 



As a man who believes my wife and children deserve my best, I’ve come up with a list of twelve essential “musts” for myself that I’d like to share.  Is there more to being a father than what I’ve listed below? Of course there is. But this is a good set of basics to help you on your way or get you back on course if you’ve gone off the roade. Feel free to add to it as it applies to your individual set of circumstances.  

The Family Man – Fatherhood Essentials: 

1. Set goals for yourself as a man.

2. Set goals for yourself as a father.

3. Be flexible, but never compromise 1 & 2.

4. Make love the driving force behind everything you do with your kid(s).

5. Always tell your kid(s) you love them, even on the rare occurrences when you think you might not.  

6. Love your kid(s) even when you know they hate you, keeping in mind parental love isn’t always supposed to be pleasant.

7. Protect, but give your kids room to grow and discover themselves, their strengths and weaknesses and encourage them all the way.

8. Have a crystal clear understanding that your most precious child is just that — a child — and will be until they are on their own feet.

9. Work with Mom, no matter what your situation with her might be.

10. Giving kids the presence and confidence to speak to you without blurring the lines between confidence and disrespect.

11. Make yourself available to sit, laugh, play, read, talk, eat, run, skip, sing, count, dance, build and grow with your kid(s).

12. Don’t forget you’re human too. As much as you don’t want to make mistakes, it will happen. Forgive yourself quickly and move on, so they can too.

In life there are no guarantees. Challenges will come, temptations will visit often, and fear of the unknown may never leave. But I believe the challenges that come with fatherhood make a man’s life richer. Do you have your own essentials to share? Let me know and let’s keep building the list. 

Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Eric Payne lives with his wife and kids just outside of New York City, where he works in the non-profit sector. He writes about married life and fatherhood at MakesMeWannaHoller.com. He is the author of I See Through Eyes, a book of poetry and short stories

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