3 Things by Matt Warner, The Radical Life
*This is the first post of our special week-long Father’s Day series, featuring notable Dad writers. Instead of our usual Monday “From the Editor” post, Matt Warner (husband of editor, Lauren Warner) will be introducing next week’s cast of Dads today — and sharing his own Truth, Tip & Find. Enjoy!
As a father-of-three, I often wonder what the most important thing is that I can do for my children. Is it to make sure they get to college or that they have every opportunity to develop their talents? Is it to simply spend lots of time with them and to be there for them when they need me? Or to show them what a good man looks like and to teach them man things. Or maybe it’s just to make sure they know I love them.
All of these are important.
But I’ve found there is something even more important, because it is the well-spring and foundation from which all of these other things are most likely maximized.
In fact, it’s the very thing that literally brought my children into being and made me their father. This most important thing is my relationship with their mother.
“The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” – Theodore Hesburgh
Our wedding day
We’re a busy family. There’s always something going on, and even during the minimal “downtime” it’s rare to get much one-on-one time with anyone.
Make the time.
Make a point to go out of your way each day to spend focused time with each member of your family individually. Even if it’s just for one minute. Make it a good minute. Connect. Those minutes will be among the best and most memorable of your — and your kids’ — day.
We’re always battling the TV.
It has such wonderful uses, but it’s so easy to waste time watching too much useless stuff on it. One thing that helped us with this was the AppleTV (especially if you use iTunes).
It allowed us to cancel cable TV, which saved a ton of money. And you still have money left over to get a Netflix or Hulu account if you like, or to just buy a few TV shows or movies throughout the month if you really want to watch them. “Really” being the key word there. It cut down a lot on our “accidental” TV watching (i.e. channel surfing), forcing us to be more deliberate about what we watched as a family.
Bonus: With the AppleTV we can airplay (i.e. share the screen of) any of our devices — phones, tablets, computers — up onto our TV screen. So we find ourselves far more often sharing those great family photos and videos (which are too often trapped inside our phones and computers) with family and friends that come over (because it’s just so easy and immediate).
Anyway, we love it. You can love you one, too.
In the house
It’s a pleasure to be sitting in for my beautiful wife this week to introduce the great lineup she’s put together for “Dad Week” here at 3 Things for Mom. It’s a gonna be a goodie.
Monday, we have parenting expert and pediatrician, Dr. Harley Rotbart — author of No Regrets Parenting. Dr. Rotbart is on the advisory board of Parents Magazine — and regularly contributes to a wide variety of prestigious publications. (Including the New York Times where he recently wrote a beautiful tribute to his own father.)
Tuesday, it’s one of my favorite bloggers, Michael Hyatt — the former Chairman & CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, the largest faith-based publisher in the world. He is the author of the bestselling book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World — and was recently named one of Forbes magazine’s Top 50 Social Media Influencers of 2013.
Wednesday, we have Michael Mitchell from the super popular blog, Life to Her Years, where he talks about adventures in being a dad to a daughter. My wife first discovered Michael through a guest post of his that went viral, 50 Rules for Dads of Daughters.
Thursday, it’s Steve Wiens — pastor, blogger and dad to 3 boys. My wife first discovered Steve through a guest post on his blog, written by his wife, Mary: These are the lines of a story. After reading more of Steve’s writing, she discovered that they are equally eloquent and insightful.
And Friday, we have Jason Good—writer and comedian who contributes to Parents Magazine, GQ, The Huffington Post and more. You may have seen him on Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham” and “Nick Mom’s Night Out” — or read his hilarious (because it’s true!) viral post: 46 Reasons Why My 3-year-old Might Be Freaking Out.