Focus on the Family

No Cape, No Problem: The Superpowers of a Dad

The superpowers of a dad
What makes a good dad? Learn about the superpowers of a Dad that society often doesn't talk about, but bring huge impact to your family.
The Superpowers of a Dad
Not all Dads wear capes … but they do have superpowers!
The Superpowers of a Dad
Not all Dads wear capes … but they do have superpowers!

Discovering Dad's Superpowers

What makes a good dad? Learn about the superpowers of a Dad that society often doesn't talk about, but bring huge impact to your family.

Recharging Dad's Superpowers

Dad's superpowers require energy. How can you help recharge Dad's superpowers? Moms, teens, kids — you can all pour into Dad today.

The 7 Traits of a Superpowered Dad

There are 7 traits of effective parenting, and they are important for every dad to know. Discover what they are and how they affect your family.

Parenting Check-In

Being a parent is one of the greatest journeys one can embark on, full of ups, downs, and challenges that can test our strengths and weaknesses. However, it's important to take the time to assess how we're doing in this role, and that's where the Parenting Check-In comes in. This tool has been specifically designed to provide you with a quick snapshot of your parenting skills, so you can better understand how you interact with your children and identify any areas for improvement. Receiving feedback is a vital part of the assessment process and can help you to gain valuable insights into how your children perceive your parenting style. While feedback, especially constructive criticism, can be difficult to hear, it can also be a powerful tool for growth and self-awareness. By being open to feedback, you're showing your kids that you value their opinion and are willing to work on becoming a better parent for them. So, take the first step in becoming the best parent you can be and give the Parenting Check-In a try today!

Happy Father's Day!

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Discovering Dad's Superpowers

By Daniel Huerta, MSW, LCSW, LSSW

The influence my dad had on me as a young boy was unequaled. I can still picture him telling stories, playing with us, working hard to provide for us, laughing, and correcting us. He was the strongest man I knew and seemed invincible. His words had power in my heart and his presence was an essential ingredient in our home. My dad didn’t just have abilities – he had superpowers.

Like moms, dads bring their own unique and essential “superpowers” to the home. Each man is unique and his skills are of tremendous value to his family. Which “dad skills” are superpowers in disguise? How can dads exercise and improve them?

Daniel Huerta
Vice President of Parenting

Observation Skills

The power of observation might not sound impressive, but it’s a huge deal. Most of our communication is non-verbal, conveyed through tone and body cues. Because of this, we tend to miss out on a lot of information that others are sharing.

This superpower requires a lot of practice, trial, and error. But watch what happens when you take note of your kids’ words and actions and reflect those back to them verbally. Honing this skill will give you insight into each person in your family.

Ask your kids if you are reading their thoughts correctly as you observe them. Take time to look into your child’s eyes and say, “I notice…” or “I think that you…” Observe their emotions and the things they have been talking about. Take a guess about what might be on their mind in a playful way.

They will let you know if you are right or wrong. You’ll be amazed how much it means to kids to know you’re trying to see into their world. The main question is, “Why not?” Invest the time and energy and watch your superpower improve.

Building Skills

Dads can build both physically and verbally. We all have the capacity to build things with Legos with our kids. Why not look up how to build things on YouTube? You could make an epic homemade slip ‘n’ slide in the backyard or plant a garden.

I can still remember the superhero strength I felt as my two young children helped me build our first playset. This summer, my daughter lit up at the suggestion of creating a customized slip ‘n’ slide in our backyard.

Not all dads feel confident physically building things, but every dad can develop verbal building skills. Our families are fueled by our encouraging words and destroyed by critical and negative ones. Words that build our kids up are said through a lens of love, even if they are words of correction and redirection.

You can say, text, or write a message of inspiration to your kids. For instance, you might use a chalk marker to write some uplifting words on their mirror – which can be a place where many devastating lies crop up. Or create a contributor journal for everyone in your family where you can jot notes or Bible verses. Most kids love it when their dad stops to look into their eyes and say genuine words of love and encouragement. 

Listening Skills

Kids long to be heard. When a dad truly listens, a child suddenly feels important and loved. Listening not only gives you connection, but also insight into what may be going on inside your child. If you combine this skill with the skill of observation, your kids may even think you can read minds!

Many kids (even teens) really do want to talk. Listening shows that you care about the person who is talking. Your son or daughter will feel safe sharing their emotions with you because they know they will be heard. They long for their dads to know them, and this skill will demonstrate that you are paying attention.

Teaching Skills

The three superpowers above will help unlock this one. Whether you know it or not, you have a lot to offer in this area. Perhaps you can teach life skills. Or you might be able to teach sports, cooking, gardening, or building. Every dad can (and should) teach kids something about relationships and sex so that they learn strong values as they grow. The key to teaching anything is that it works best when you have a strong relationship with your kids.

Teaching also requires other superpowers such as: love, respect, adaptability, boundaries, gratitude, forgiveness, and intentionality. These superpowers foster humility, patience, compassion, empathy and flexibility. You have a lot to teach your kids, but also have a lot to learn in order to create the bridges necessary to getting the message across.

Strength Skills

Every dad brings a lot of unique strengths they can share with their kids. You don’t have to be the strongest, tallest, or most hip dad out there in order to contribute to their growth. Save yourself trouble and don’t compare yourself to other dads. God purposefully put you in your kids’ lives. God could have chosen another man to be your kids’ dad. He knew that you were the perfect dad for them and that you had a lot of strength to share with your kids.

One asset that will take your child far in life is learning to express emotion in healthy ways. Another huge strength is optimism. Learn it. Develop it. When you bring “Vitamin O” to your family you bring mental and emotional power.

Strengths can be physical, too. Dads wrestling and rough housing with their children, going on bike rides, playing sports, or working out with their kids – these activities all provide excellent lessons and benefits to kids. What activities can you think of to share with your kids?

Dads, your superpowers are waiting to be unleashed.
Develop these and you will help your family thrive. Your family will love it, and you will too!

Recharging Dad's Superpowers
Recharging Dad's Superpowers

Better Than a Tie — 25 Ways You Can Appreciate Dad

Maybe your children call the man who made a difference in their lives dad, pops, father, papa, uncle, coach or by his first name. There are many names for fathers and the father figures in our lives. No matter what the name, the impact is the same — they cared. They made a difference. These men have a unique superpower that helped our children, blessed them. And we want to celebrate and encourage these good men. Might dad appreciate some appreciation?

My own father, even though divorced from my mother, faithfully picked me up every other weekend to spend time with me. I still remember the drives in our brown Bronco, through sun, sleet or snow. Even though he didn’t play much, his steadfast character was an anchor my whole life. In contrast, my husband, played every game known to man.

Our little family would often play games late into the night—laughing deliriously both from lack of sleep and enjoyment. And I know several more good dads, family members and mentors who write meaningful notes, play video games, read books or ride bikes and so much more — blessing those in their lives. So, how do we give back to these men? How do we appreciate dad?

Ways to Appreciate Dad’s Special Superpowers

There is no right way, but a place to start is thinking about how they have made an impact. One might not even realize all the ways dad or other father figures have blessed their lives. So, check out the following lists for ideas to get you started. Use anything that dad would appreciate. Make sure to be specific. What do they do, even if imperfectly, that you want to acknowledge and encourage? This is so much more than a tie or a quickly bought card. Encourage dad by purposefully saying how he is doing a good job!

Observation skills

Does he make an effort to go to events? Does uncle or coach call out the skills or talents that are growing in your kid?  Or maybe he drives around all the friends, so he can get to know the group. He is great at observation! Ways to encourage an observant father figure are:

  • Create a montage video of him and all the things you have done together.
  • Learn his history and put it together on a slide show.
  • Find out his favorite game or event growing up and do that together.
  • Create a treasure hunt or use walkie talkies to help him find a card, gift or favorite food.
  • Spend all day celebrating him with favorite food and activities.

Building skills

Dads can build both physically and verbally. Everyone wants to be noticed, especially by Dad. Dr. Meeker shares how her dad told his friends she would be a doctor long before she ever accomplished her doctorate. His faith gave her strength to continue when she felt like quitting. Encourage a building man through:

  • Building something together. For example, repair a car engine, build a really cool pen or work on a model together.
  • Write down all the great things you appreciate about him — Twenty-five things I love about dad…. Or make an acrostic and use the words like super, excellent, awesome etc.
  • Does he like a particular food? See if you can build the best sandwich, nachos or ice cream sundae together. How many toppings can fit on it before falling?
  • Invent stories about him with random words like hero, cheese, maple tree, galaxy and road runner, just for laughs. (Make sure and share the limited list of words so he doesn’t think you have lost your mind.)
  • Build something that he would use in his hobby, such as fishing lures or a miniature greenhouse.

Listening Skills

Is he a good listener? Does he take the late-night drives where the teen shares all their concerns? Or does he make a point to ask questions? Does he ignore the crazy hormones as the words spill out looking for the meaning rather than emotion? Appreciate a listening father with the following:

  • Make a play list of dad’s favorite tunes. Enjoy it together.
  • Enjoy a picnic together.
  • Create a drive-in movie experience in the garage or backyard and show his favorite film.
  • Write down the best advice and or the best jokes he has told. Frame them and post on social media for all to enjoy.
  • Listen to his favorite book on audio together. (Focus@Home has some options.)

Teaching skills

Does dad make a point to teach? Does he share how-to’s on sports, cooking, gardening, or building? Maybe he is the one who taught you chess or got you through Science class. Show dad the help is appreciated.

  • Learn something new together—a foreign language, an outlandish sport like hobbyhorsing or a new craft like leather tooling.
  • Create a mystery for him to solve, or messages he has to decode with the end result being a note on how much you appreciate him.
  • Make a map and a timeline of landmarks, museums or parks to see together.
  • Play old fashioned video games together like Donkey Kong or Pong
  • Try flying drone battles. They have Star Wars versions.

Strength skills

Each dad brings lots of strengths they can share with their kids. Dads wrestling with their children, going on bike rides, playing sports or working out with their kids – provide relational as well as physical benefits. And don’t forget mental powers are a strength too. Appreciate dad’s strengths though some of these ideas:

  • Create a spa experience for him at home. Foot massage and neck rubs are good choices.
  • Would he enjoy something physical like going to the batting cages or going hiking?
  • Water is usually good too. Go to the pool, local waterslide or fishing at the lake together.
  • Go camping as a family.
  • Break out the mind puzzles, jigsaw puzzles or math problems. Solve them together or enjoy seeing who can solve their puzzle first.

There are a lot of ways that dad and father figures make a difference in the whole family’s lives. Dads are great! Hopefully, these ideas will help or spark ideas on ways to appreciate him. Have fun and choose something that is meaningful to him. Most importantly, let dad know what a blessing he is! He will appreciate being appreciated. 

— Danielle Pitzer

Crafts and Recipes

Looking for some fun ways for your younger kids to appreciate Dad? Clubhouse Magazine and Club Jr. Magazine have put together some fun crafts and recipes to celebrate Dad and appreciate his superpowers — on Father’s Day and beyond. 

You’re the Best, POP!

Gather small slips of paper pencils or markers 6 or more large, bright-colored balloons ribbon or string pin (optional) Go 1. Think of things you

Alphabet Pizza

Gather bagels pizza sauce shredded mozzarella cheese Dad’s favorite pizza toppings Go 1. Preheat oven to 425° F. 2. With Mom’s help, slice bagels in

Father’s Day Float

Gather 1 can (or small bottle) of Dad’s favorite root beer 2 scoops vanilla ice cream 2 silly straws Go 1. Carefully pour root beer

Buffalo Dip

Grab some chips and share this creamy, spicy dip with Dad.

7 Traits of a Superpowered Dad
The 7 Traits of a
Superpowered Dad


Adaptability is the willingness to be flexible and adjust when plans change. Being able to see the bigger picture and being willing to let things go can help instill accommodating and easygoing characteristics in your children.


As a parent it is important to model respect to your children. It helps affirm their identity in Christ and helps them see the unique perspectives and worldview of others.


The goal of intentionality is to be present. It helps demonstrate the parents’ devotion to the relationship, connectedness, and spiritual and personal growth.


Setting healthy boundaries requires discernment, wisdom, and courage. When done well, boundaries help teach your children the importance of balance and self-control.


Love is the foundation any strong parent-child relationship. Strong devotion to this relationship fosters the growth and development of your child’s passions, strengths, and abilities.

Grace and Forgiveness

Grace and forgiveness is the necessary glue that helps maintain healthy relationships. It allows for the parent to be approachable in order to help guide and instruct.


The key to gratitude is perspective. Gratitude is the willingness to guide, communicate, and resolve conflict with a positive outlook.

How can you grow in the area of Adaptability Respect Intentionality Boundaries Love Grace & Forgiveness ?

Good dads aren’t perfect. There’s no formula to follow, but there are ways you can grow every day. Focus on the Family’s 7 Traits of Effective Parenting gives parents an honest look at their unique strengths, plus some areas that could use a little help.

When you focus on your parenting, you will:

  • Learn the 7 traits of effective parenting, biblically-based and backed by research
  • Discover your parenting strengths, and areas for growth
  • Identify the skills you need to raise healthy, mature and responsible children

Navigate family life with grace and love!

Daniel P. Huerta, Focus on the Family's Vice President of Parenting, presents a collection of seven powerful character traits designed to help parents grow and thrive while raising Godly children.

© 2020 by Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. 

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