What is the significance of 88 miles per hour? And what in the heck does that have to do with being a dad?
Here are a few hints…
Doc Brown. Marty McFly. Flux capacitor. DeLorean. Biff Tannen.
Still no clue?
Back to the Future
Back in 1985, Back to the Future hit movie theaters and likely resulted in far too many teenagers trying to get their car up to 88 miles per hour to see if they could time travel.
I’m sure I would have had I been 16 at the time.
Okay, so what does time travel have to do with Atypical Dad or being a dad?
Looking back at blog history
Quite a few years ago, at least in terms of technology, I was authoring a dad blog named Dad Balance that was part of the wildly popular and successful eMoms At Home network of blogs.
At the time, you could practically count the number of dad blogs on one hand.
Despite publishing some really great content focused on the issues that dads were facing, there wasn’t a very big audience consuming that type of information. Dads putting their families before their careers? There were some doing it, but not many talking about it.
Fast forward a number of years and now there are many more dads actively involved and stressing balance of their career and their family. Dads are staying home and raising their kids. Dads are helping at schools.
With my parenting book being published, I am reviving my dad blog – albeit in a new home – and looking forward to connecting with more dads.
Reversing prior mistakes
As dads, or parents in general, there are bound to be situations or decisions that you wish you could go back in time and do differently.
Some of those scenarios are trivial, but others are much more significant and may have had a long-lasting impact on you, your kids, and your family as a whole. While I’ve yet to hear of anyone actually pulling off time travel, that doesn’t mean all hope is lost.
Own your mistakes.
By that I mean, don’t just sweep your mistakes under the rug and ignore them. Making mistakes comes with the territory of being a parent. You don’t need to be perfect.
But when you do make a mistake, it is essential that you address that with your family. Sit down with your kids and explain to them that you tried your best and did what you thought was right at the time, but that you were wrong and you are sorry.
Read that last paragraph again.
In those couple of sentences, there are years of parenting advice.
Always put forth your best effort. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. When you do make a mistake, apologize to those impacted and learn from your mistake. Be resilient and keep growing as a person. Be honest and treat your loved ones with respect.
Just because your mistake may have happened days, weeks, or months ago, that doesn’t mean it is too late to own your mistakes.
By doing this, you will not only be setting a positive example for your children but depending on the situation you may even be freeing your child of a burden that they have been carrying. The burden of doubting the lessons you’re teaching them when they see you acting to the contrary; the burden of resentment they might feel for being wronged.
Pedal to the metal
As we continue racing towards our goal of being the best dad that we can be, and being the dad our kids need, remember the importance of not only talking the talk but also walking the walk.
Whether your kids are learning to crawl or learning to drive, they are watching us more closely than we often give them credit.
For that reason, one of the most important things that we can do as dads is to ensure that our actions reinforce our message. If not, we are delivering a mixed message to our children and they will have a difficult time understanding, or trusting, what we are teaching them.
By doing this, we will have less of a need to travel back in time to repair mistakes and we will be building a better future for ourselves and our kids.