I was listening to Gary Vaynerchuk’s podcast the other day of an old “#AskGaryVeeShow” episode. One of the callers, a public school teacher from Philadelphia, was about to get the treat of a lifetime by getting access to some time with social media expert, CEO and keynote speaker Gary Vaynerchuk. But he wasn’t going alone. He was bringing a fraction of his class with him.
Mr Reynolds teaches Literature to an all boy’s class where 80 per cent of them were without fathers. Hence, the free trip to meet with Gary Vaynerchuk to get the pep talk of a lifetime. As a man up close to so much fatherlessness, he knew that it was that one sad fact that was the source of so many issues in these kids’ lives. You can learn more about him and what he does on his YouTube channel.
The facts are as clear as day. The world needs fathers. And homes are in such a great shortage of them. Science shows the benefits of having a father. An article from Fatherly had this to say about the advantage kids have when they grow up with kids:
“When fathers are actively involved with their children, children do better,” Paul Amato, a sociologist who studies parent-child relationships at Pennsylvania State University, told Fatherly. “All of this research suggests that fathers are important for a child’s development.”
Living Proof That Great Fathers Still Exist
My dad is living proof that the world still has great fathers. And I’m living proof of what it’s like be fathered well. Not perfectly, but as good as it possibly gets. Bong Mabilog is one of the main catalysts to my character development. He has taught me to overcome adversity, be a better leader, love people well, lead a family and practically every important soft skill that I have today.
He always went out of his way to spend quantity and quality time with me and my sister Angela growing up. And he does just as much for my younger brother Nathan today. If there’s one way to describe what kind of a dad he is, it’s “all-in daddying.” He would give it his all the time. Work was never a hindrance. Neither was the financial struggle, relational dysfunctions in ministry or a battle with my late mom’s Stage 4 Cancer. He was always there for us.
What it Means to Be An Engaged Father
Being an engaged father isn’t something that we have fully discovered yet from a factual standpoint. How much time do you really have to spend with kids? Do you really have to be physically there? The studies behind these things are relatively young and non-conclusive.
But if there’s one thing we know is that being an engaged father is not just about spending quantity time or quality time. It has to be both. Five seconds of meaningful conversation with your kids a day is definitely not enough. And neither is two hours of watching TV together. Both quantity and quality are important. And we don’t know as a matter of fact how much and how deep of time that should be.
The best guess we have is to provide as much as you can and to keep pushing the limits of being a father. The objective is to never settle. Never think that you are “good enough.” But always strive to go out of your way for your kids.
That’s the example I grew up seeing and I couldn’t be more grateful for my dad. And I hope to be that same kind of dad as well.