Be the Dad 3. Be the Dad with a Dream - Plan for your Future Family now
To be a great Dad and to have a great Family you need to be the Dad with a Dream, to have a goal of what you want your future family to look like.
Just think; What pictures would you like on your family photo wall in 20 years? A happy Mum and Dad more in love than ever, kids and parents as adults sharing great experiences together?
Having a dream will help you get there.
When starting anything you need a picture of how you want it to end. If you are building a house, restoring a car or even just shaving your face. The end picture of what you want, dictates what you need to do to get there.
By dreaming and creating a vision for what want your family to be and the experiences that you want to have, you can intentionally start planning and focusing today to reach these goals.
This is contrasted with being a Dad who doesn't have goals and just hopes that good things will happen in his life.
The Father who dreamed, planned and is living his dream
I want to share with you about My Father in law who is a guy just like this, who with his wife as young parents in their 20’s, planned, focused their efforts and are now living their family dream. Plus, I’ve got an easy two stage plan to start this journey to your best future for your family.
An Easy, 2 stage plan to have a great Future family
Stage 1 - Dream
Start by dreaming of how you want your Family to be.
My Father in Law and his wife, planned at the start of their kids lives that as adults they would be their friends. So with this goal in mind my Father in Law purposely involved himself with his 6 kids in whatever they were interested in; Drag racing cars, boating, skiing, rc cars, animal day at school, shooting, motorbikes, dogs and cats.
If something fun was happening he was there; funding, helping and playing. Now 37 years later this Mum and Dad have the great friendship and ongoing relationship with their kids that they aimed for. They are living their dream and many other families ask me ‘wow, this is a special and unique family, how did they create that?’. The answer:
Dreams, deliberate actions and determination.
The Dream goal steered his choices.
When you have a clear goal you are focused. When a deviation or distraction comes along like work late too often or be away from home too much, you have more strength to make a decision to stay on course. The prize, your family goal, helps you to make the right decisions. When you know what you want your future to be, you will start taking the right steps towards that now.
Here are some great questions to establish your Dream:
Take time to ponder these questions
What kind of Dad do you want to be? Ie: Friendly, firm but fair, a guide, best mate, close, inspirational, fun?
What activities/experiences do want to do with your kids? Now, as teenagers and as adults?
What words do you want your family to be described as? Ie Loving, giving, adventurous, competitive, close
What kind of people do you want them to become? Careers, their character, as parents and friends
How do you want them to behave and act? Determined, helpful..
What do you want your relationship with your wife to look like when the kids move out?
How to do you want your relationship with your wife to be described on the way through?
The answers that you provided above sum up the dream that you have for you family. Print and fill out these blanks and put them up on your bedroom wall as inspiration and a reminder of what is important to you.
Stage 2 - Plan
Make a Plan. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Your future self is yelling “thank you” from the future for putting in place any great plan, now, for your future.
Create a mission statement
Based on your answers to the questions above write a mission statement of what you want your family to be like and the experiences that you want to have.
After you have written this mission statement, start making plans and strategise to make these dreams a reality.
Start planning today with your wife for how you can make these dreams a future reality, set yourself easy achievable daily, weekly, monthly and annual goals. Doing small things often will cause greatness to happen over time.
If I want to have (goal) a great relationship with my kids with open communication as teenagers then my (plan) would be to have communal meal times together and spend 10 mins daily of quality time with each child.
If I want to have (goal) to go on one great family holiday once a year or Europe in 5 years, I need to (plan) start putting aside $30 - $50 a week to finance this.
Hang your mission statement somewhere in plain view in your house, where everyone can see it. Read it as you walk past and be reminded of it daily. I’ve included an example you can use at the bottom :)
Example of a family mission statement
We love and value each other
We love doing fun things together weekly
We listen to each other and seek to understand
We love helping each other out
Dad and Mum love going on dates once a month
People are more important than things
We are hard workers
We are smart and study to use our incredible brains
We stick together and help each other out
We are readers and leaders
Love giving Mum and Dad cuddles and kisses.
We share great experiences together
We want to: Race BMX together, play in the same Basketball team, go to Europe as a Teenage family.
I’m really excited about you being the Dad with a Dream. When you know where you are going, that focus helps get you there. I know that you can and will live the dreams that you have for your family by dreaming and planning.