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Dads2Dads – The man in the mirror

Dads2Dads – The man in the mirror

Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2013 8:00 pm
By: By Tom Tozer and Bill Black

If we don’t feel good about ourselves, we’re not going to be the best fathers. That’s because self-image affects how we contribute to our work and relationships and how we portray ourselves to others. If we feel inadequate, talentless or unworthy in some way, our ability to teach our children, be an example and provide leadership will be impaired.
Take stock
So we need to take a look at that man in the mirror. What talents do we have? What knowledge do we possess? What skills can we claim? And what areas need attention? It’s those inadequacies that can trip us up, disable our effectiveness as a father and perhaps even instill doubts in our kids.
It’s not that we think dads need to be perfect. That’s not possible. But we need to be honest with ourselves about our shortcomings and work to strengthen them, not hide or defend them. Do we lose control at a sporting event? Are we too sensitive to criticism? Are we consistently impatient? Are we poor listeners? These behaviors may be masking inadequacies from our own childhood.
So, dad, how do you relate to those closest to you? Think about your interactions with your spouse, your friends and your coworkers. Are you kind? Do you listen to them? Do you value their place in your life or do you take them for granted? What are your strengths, and which areas in your interactions with others need improvement? Look again in that mirror and be honest with the person staring back at you. You may see someone you only thought you knew.
Love in translation
We believe that love is made most visible by our actions rather than our words. It is our actions by which we are judged and that reflect on us in positive or negative ways. If we feel unskilled or uneducated, we can easily develop and convey a poor self-image and, in turn, act out in ways that are harmful to our children.
Teach your children
Kids, particularly teens, are painfully self-conscious. Too often they are presented with unrealistic standards by the advertising and entertainment media. Dad, you can have a greater impact on your children than you ever thought possible. Teach by example.
Take charge
We’ve said it before. Your teenager may not look at you-but he or she never stops looking up to you. How you handle situations and work to develop a positive self-image has a great impact on our child. Take charge of areas where you feel you can improve. Take care of your health. Be positive in your attitude toward work and life. Praise your child’s talents, helpfulness, skills and accomplishments. Your efforts will be rewarded with improved relations at work and at home.
Contact Tom Tozer of Nashville and Bill Black of Murfreesboro at or visit

Published in The Messenger 2.21.13

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