Dads are often thought of as modern-day superheroes to their children. They see you as this perfect, awesome, super strong guy who has the abilities to protect them from any danger that comes their way. Even though their idea of who you are as a father may be a bit exaggerated, you bust your but every day to try and live up to their expectations. Working diligently to be a better parent is applaudable, but, trying to prove you’re this fearless guy who lacks any weaknesses, never needs help, and is perfect in every way will backfire.
The Trouble with Trying to be Superhuman
Here’s something you should know that your children will find out in due time – you’re only human. As a human being, you’re entitled to make mistakes, have flaws, and even show weakness. It’s only natural to want your kids to view you in a positive light. It is often that admiration and love from your kids that pushes you to be a better man.
The trouble comes when you start to create a false sense of reality. When you try to make it appear that you’re this supernatural being with powers that prevent you from ever being wrong, needing help, or having any weaknesses. Not only does this create a false reality for your children, but there are a number of consequences:
You become resentful of your responsibilities as a father
Your plate becomes too full causing you to slack in all areas of life
You neglect your own needs, interests, and desires
You become quite the jerk – you’re always moody, are short-tempered, and even argumentative with everyone
Your physical health starts to deteriorate
You neglect other relationships (your marriage, friendships, and other familial relationships)
You fall behind on work
You go broke (perfect parents never say no, right? So, you end up shelling out a lot of cash to keep them happy)
Your kids can have a low self-esteem or sense of self
You begin relying on substances like prescription meds, drugs, and alcohol to mask emotions
You harbor and suffer silently from mental illness like chronic stress, depression, or anxiety.
These are only a few things that could derive from you trying to be a super dad all the time. Getting things back on track, in most of these situations, is easy to do on your own. If you’re a dad who suffers from mental illness, addiction, or both before you can fix any part of your life you need to get treatment for alcohol abuse (or whatever your vice of choice is).
How to Correct It
You see just how turbulent things can get if you choose to keep putting on this “super dad” facade for your kids. To remedy the problem, consider these solutions below:
Be happy with who you are – sometimes the expectations you have of yourself are harsher than those others may have of you. Stop being so critical, judgemental, and negative towards yourself and simply learn how to be happy with who you are – flaws and all.
Admit your mistakes -Whether it’s burning dinner, missing your son’s soccer game, or forgetting to sign a permission slip for a school trip, showing your children that it’s okay to make mistakes and learn from them is an invaluable lesson they’ll need to be less critical of themselves.
Ask for Help – Batman didn’t decide to form the Justice League for no reason. Even he knew there would come a time where he’d need help beyond his own abilities. Don’t try to do it all alone. Your spouse, parents, and immediate family are there to provide such support. When it’s something that goes beyond their “expertise”, you have other avenues of support including your doctor, spiritual or religious leader, therapist, and others can help.
Unless you’ve found some secret science that has yet to be discovered by the rest of the world, chances are you don’t have some superpowers that make you perfect or immortal. As much as you want to try and do and be everything for your children, upholding such high-standards will eventually weigh heavily on you and your kids. The best super dads are not ashamed of their shortcomings. They do the best they can to raise a happy and healthy family, and when they need help, they’re unashamed to ask. When your kids get older, it is these actions that will often make you the most amazing guy in their lives.