Help Him Be A Better Dad- What Your Husband Wants You To Know

Young couple  in bed, toned black and white effect, vignette.

I am even more excited than usual that Ryan is guest posting today. I hope you will be as blessed by what he has to share as I have been.

I have a question for you Diaper Diaries readers who are married women (I assume most of Jill’s readers are women, except for you Josh). Did you have a vision for your wedding day before you got married? Did you even fanaticize about your wedding day when you were a young girl? I didn’t. I didn’t have a clue what my wedding would be like until I sat down with Jill to plan it after she’d accepted my proposal. I’m not alone in this. Most guys don’t grow up with visions of their weddings. In fact, most guys don’t grow up with a clear picture of anything in the future, except for those things that are very familiar to us like work, cars, or sports. Can I imagine myself golfing or playing tennis at 60? Sure. Can I imagine owning my own business at 45 and having a restored Karmann Ghia in the garage? You bet! But there are many things men can’t easily conceive of, and I’ve found that one of those things is what it’s like to be a dad.

I always wanted to be a dad, but actually imagining what it would be like is another story. I had only some fuzzy picture in my mind of future me as a dad… wearing a cardigan sweater, sporting a moustache, and using terms like “shucks.” I didn’t imagine myself as an exhausted thirty year-old ready to blow my stack at an eighteen month-old kid who refuses to stop dunking her entire arm into my water glass at a restaurant. And beyond envisioning myself as a dad, how was I supposed to know how to be a good dad, whatever that means? What separates a good dad from a mediocre dad, and if I do blow my stack and start yelling at the soggy-armed darling, do I assume that I fall into the mediocre (or worse!) category?

It’s taken me nearly a decade of fatherhood to gain a clear vision of what it means to be a great dad. Many years after having our first little one, I finally have a picture in my mind of what kind of dad I’d like to be, now and in the future. Thanks to lots of advice, mostly provided by guys I’ve met through marriage ministry and from small groups, I’ve gained a clear baseline understanding of the principles every man should know about fatherhood (ideally, these should be learned before your child reaches, say, forty). And since not every dad gets to receive the kind of advice that I have gotten, I decided to capture these foundational principles in an eBook that I’ve titled “The Dad’s Playbook”, which goes on sale today.

The Dad’s Playbook uses familiar sports analogies to introduce these principles, and is meant to help guys better envision what it means to be a great dad. I wrote it for men like me who are already invested in being a dad but would never read a full parenting book. I didn’t want it to come off as lessons for inadequate dads, but rather to encourage and provoke new thinking for caring dads. It’s straightforward, easy to read, and recognizes that deep down most dads, even the great ones, are a bit insecure about their abilities. The Dad’s Playbook is meant to inform and encourage, and can be read in about an hour. So if you’d like to give your favorite dad a little something extra this Father’s Day (and get me a tiny bit closer to that Karmann Ghia), please consider downloading it for him today. I’d appreciate it, but more importantly, so will he.


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  1. Sally says:

    He’s a rock star! And happy birthday a little late.

  2. Called out for reading… I’m shameless on this though. What better way to get dirt on you Ryan?

    Excellent post today, I agree with you completely.

    On the subject of being an inadequate parent (whether a dad or a mom), we need to remember that God’s grace is sufficient even for these shortcomings of ours. God’s grace covers all our sins, even our sins in parenting. I was reminded of this last week when I came home a little grouchy from work. For no reason, my daughter came up to me, sat on my lap, gave me a big hug and a kiss and then said I was the best dad in the world. The compliment came with no request for any thing.

    Best dad in the world? I know I’m not, my attitude was not ‘best dad’ material when I came home from work that day. Needless to say, my attitude improved dramatically after that.


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