Fatherhood ‘the greatest gift of all’

Being a parent is the most difficult, yet most important and satisfying work you will ever do. That being said, a responsibility of any parent is to work with your child and teach them morals to live by.

Morals are defined as a lesson, especially one concerning what is right or prudent, that can be derived from a story, a piece of information, or an experience. Like anything else, how do we expect our children to learn morals if we don’t teach them, or show them by example?

I can only speak from the experience of being a dad, but here are a few I think are worth mentioning:

I hold it as an honor if someone describes me as a person who puts his family first. The top priority of every single dad is to put his family first before his own desires. That is what a leader does. Way too many so-called dads are not providing the “Leadership” the job calls for. There is nothing I won’t do for my children, family, friends, community and country. Again, if we don’t teach our children, they are going to follow into the examples they see.

If you are not spending time with your children, shame on you. Get into their lives and earn the title of Daddy or Mommy. If you don’t spend time with them teaching them the values of life, someone will teach them the negatives that I see every single day as a probation officer.

The way a dad shows his true love to his children is evidenced in his actions and decisions as much as it is with his affection. It is very difficult to teach another person how to make wise decisions. Wisdom comes from personal experience. When those opportunities present themselves, it is up to the parent to make the correct decisions that set the child up to gain the wisdom that will be the outcome of the situation.

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t see some situation in which I have lived and try to spread the wisdom time has granted me. In order to thrive in all areas, children require a stable home environment. In America, we have traditional families, single parent families, divorced families, and many different variations of people trying to parent and provide stability. It takes us all to provide proper guidance to the children of our community.

There is no correct way to raise a child, but you have to strive to earn their respect. In our society today, we see a nearly grave issue with our children regarding respect for almost anything. We need to always display a respect for women, elders, the community, friends, and strangers. We also need to show love and kindness to our children, however show a strict regard to discipline and work ethic.

While we are rightfully very busy teaching our children all of the most serious qualities they should be brought up with, sometimes we forget the importance of humor. Humor can work miracles in even the darkest moments. I don’t think I could get through a single day without displaying some form of humor. It is a miracle way to turn a negative situation into a more workable and enjoyable experience.

A true father needs to be an example of a confident, strong man, but humble in every aspect of his life. Humbleness can be witnessed in his career, family life and social life.

It’s easy to consider the monetary value of property. I do that all the time with Auctions and the crowd will set the value of an item. It is much harder to understand the value of things you can’t see.

A good example is trust. Trust is an extremely valuable commodity. When you have it, you hold something that is very valuable. When you lose it, one may be considered worthless. When you lose it, the other extremely valuable thing (time) comes into play.

I have often told my probationers that losing the trust of society, family and friends is a very lonely action; however given the proper amount of time and hard work, you can begin to earn that trust back. When you begin that process, you must make sure if you give your word to do something, you must make it come true.

Just as important, when you give your word you are not going to do something, you need to hold true with that as well. People who keep their word are trusted and highly regarded. People who do not are like garbage.

Don’t take giving your word to someone lightly, especially your children. If you tell someone you are going to do something, then do it. Tell the truth; keep your promises; be dependable; be trustworthy are all morals that come from trust.

I would like to think I have taught my children to do other things as well. I love this time of year. It appears people start to think about a few other morals they’ve been taught. Be generous, serve mankind, respect others, keep your self-control and have patience. This world shows it’s easy to father a child. It is however much more difficult to be a father to a child. If you are not doing that, you are missing the boat because as far as I’m concerned, that’s the greatest gift of all.

Wayne Addison is chief probation officer for the Hancock County Probation Department.