Father and son

We’ve all seen the “cute” posters and bumper stickers that begin, “You might be a (fill in the blank) if …” The opener is always followed by a series of serious or tongue-in-cheek statements that serve to define the word in question.

For example, Jeff Foxworthy crafted the very famous “You might be a Redneck if …” series. He says you might be a redneck if:

  • You've ever financed a tattoo.
  • You take a fishing pole into Sea World.
  • Your stereo speakers used to belong to the drive-in theater.

Funny stuff. Well, it turns out there’s a lot that could be written to define an All Pro Dad. And one distinctive characteristic of an All Pro Dad turns out to be the kinds of things he says to his kids.

So here, All Pro Dads, is your very own list. You know you’re an All Pro Dad when you say these kinds of things to your kids every day.

“Hey, Junior, I love You.” Love—and we’ve talked about this before—is one of those qualities that’s never subject to inflation. “I love you” doesn’t lose its effectiveness when it’s said on a regular basis. Tell your kids you love them. Say it every day. Say it several times a day.

“So, Buddy, what are your plans for the day?” This is not just about knowing, but about interest. It means a lot to kids that their dad cares what they’re up to and takes the time to compare notes. “Here’s my business planner," you could say. "I’ve got three big meetings. What do you have scheduled for the day?”

“I am so grateful to be your dad.” Our children need to know how we feel about being their dad. So much is lost when communication breaks down and kids stop relating to their dad or mom as whole, feeling, sentient beings. We’re not talking about manipulation drama here. We’re talking about communicating some of the passion and joy we feel in response to the ongoing privilege of parenting.

“Have a great day at school, and don’t forget who you are.” Your child is growing into his identity—his sense of self—each and every day. The most important attribute is his identity as a child of God. Your family name may be Smith or Wagner or Hernandez, but your child’s identity always has been and always will be “Made in the Image of God.” Remind him of that every day.

Words of Affirmation. The idea here is encouragement, “out loud” belief and a “heads up” positive direction into the day. It's about repeated, ingrained affirmation delivered with the firm conviction of loving your children and believing in them. Do this every day. Deliver your lines with sincerity, and make them count.

All Pro Dad is Family First’s innovative and unique program for every father. Their aim is to interlock the hearts of the fathers with their children and, as a byproduct, the hearts of the children with their dads. At AllProDad.com, dads in any stage of fatherhood can find helpful resources to aid in their parenting. Resources include daily emails, blogs, Top 10 lists, articles, printable tools, videos and eBooks. From AllProDad.com, fathers can join the highly engaged All Pro Dad social media communities on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

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