Parenting

Don't Punt, Dads: Even Coach Dungy Shares Our #1 Parenting Challenge

tonydungy

Dear Dads (or Moms willing to deliver the message):

We all know (at least in our heads) that money doesn’t satisfy, but we also know how useful a tool it is for meeting our basic needs plus a few extras, and for solving unforeseen problems along the way. Still, when your chips are down, your bank accounts low, and your bills high, it’s tempting to think that what your kids need more than time with you is time without you.

My family needs me to bail on dinner, dodge playtime, skip bedtime stories, pass on conversations about our days, etc.

My family needs me grinding it out at my desk during these times.

That these statements are actually true sometimes makes it all the more challenging for us to perceive the lie that usually prompts them. We tend to think, the only way out of this season is more money; I don’t have money; I need to sink in more time. Maybe so. And a relentless work ethic is one of the greatest virtues we can pass onto our kids. But it’s a slippery slope. The financial rat race may have you booking it, but what about when you’re finally ahead again? People of incredible work ethic tend not to stop when urgency subsides.

Take Tony Dungy (father of nine). Even well before he coached the Colts to win Super Bowl XLI, most of us would say he was living the dream by any measure: loved his job, hugely respected professionally, and raking in the dough. Yet doesn’t his number-one challenge as a dad sound familiar?

Now stop reading. (Actually, leave a comment first.) Your kids need you.