Address Your Parenting Issues

If you've identified some of the father chains you've inherited, take the next step and address those issues.

For starters, I recommend you seek out a group of men in whom you can confide. Many churches facilitate such gatherings. It's extremely helpful to be part of a community of men who work things out together.

Over the years I've participated in several groups, both formal and informal. These guys played a pivotal role in helping me become a better person and a better dad. They accepted me, listened to my questions about difficult matters, and shared in my battles.

I was the youngest man in one group, and learned a lot from the older guys who often spoke about their parenting mistakes. They did so with some regret, but also with hope that I'd get it and become a better dad by avoiding those common missteps.

A small community of like-minded men can provide a safe forum. If there is authenticity and candor, these men can form strong bonds and provide a sense of brotherhood. In addition, the biblical concept of "iron sharpening iron" can play out, allowing you to benefit from the tough but caring voice of someone who knows where you're at and who is committed to helping you become a better man.

Let me also suggest you seek out the help of an older, wiser man. A seasoned perspective can bring understanding you'd otherwise miss. I've wondered why so few of us seek out and learn from more experienced, wiser men around us. Somebody once suggested that older people have all the answers – it's just up to us to ask the right questions!

From First-Time Dad, published by Moody Publishers. Copyright © 2011 by John Fuller. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Used by permission.

Next in this Series: Change Your Parenting Ways, Every Day

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