Monthly Archives: April 2014


Remember the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young song a long way back that told us to “teach your children well”? Great lyrics and I always liked what they did with them. We all realize we need to teach our children well, but how do we do that? The role of The Manual for Dads is to give dads practical knowledge not just words of wisdom. So let’s take a look at how to teach your children well.

How does a dad teach his children? Well, the first answer is obvious. He tells them something they don’t know or understand and makes it clear to them so they have the knowledge to use from that point on. He can teach them how to wash dishes, how to pound a nail, perhaps how to do a problem in math, or how to be polite. These are all examples of passing on skill. But we are looking for the answer to “teaching them well.” What does well mean?

I think well refers to how you teach them to become a good, competent, self-aware, capable person. How you teach them well is by example and by discipline. Now some younger dads, I am told, roll their eyes when the word discipline is mentioned so let’s unpack that term “discipline” and see what’s inside. I think you will agree it is a good term we can use to help understand a dad’s role as teacher.

Discipline means to teach. A disciple is a student or follower. The good dad uses various techniques to properly teach his kids, or discipline them so they develop life-skills that lead them to acquire good habits that turn into virtues which serve them their entire lives.

Discipline is not bossing kids around. It is not intimidating them. It is not punishing them. It is never unreasonable or vengeful. Discipline is an act of love and respect that you use to help your child grow and mature and develop self-reliance and self-respect.

In blogs that will follow I will talk about discipline and why kids misbehave and how to stop the misbehavior as well as prevent it from happening in the future. Sound good? Please stay with me in the time ahead and please join in the conversation.

As you know as a reader of this Manual, dadding is more than fathering kids. Being a dad requires that you devote your entire life to your children by learning how best to parent and putting to use all the wisdom and practical knowledge you can learn.

Your children want and deserve to be taught well. Don’t you agree?