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3 Powerful Fathering Skills To Be A Great Dad, With Keith Zafren – RFL027

The 3 Powerful Fathering Skills To Be A Great Dad – Episode Overview

What skills does it take to be a great dad? What if you had no role model – or didn’t like the way you were parented – how do you learn? Though we change in each generation there are still many things we do as dads that get carried along from the past. So back to the question – how do you become a modern dad – a present and involved dad – a supportive and guiding dad – a loving and engaging dad – even if you didn’t have that kind of dad? Who do you have to be to get your kids ready for life? This week we check in on the 3 powerful fathering skills of affirmation, acceptance and affection and how they can completely change the way dads can raise their dad games and be more successful with their kids.

Attention and Intention

This week, my attention is on dads. And my intention is to share 3 ways to raise our dad games – to be more involved dads to build strong sustainable relationships with our kids, regardless of what you saw from your dad. And these skills works the same for moms.

Meet our guest Keith Zafren

Keith Zafren on how to be a great dadKeith Zafren is a coach, speaker, Jack Canfield certified Success Skills Trainer, founder of the Great Dad Project and the author of the award-winning book, How to Be a Great Dad-No Matter What Kind of Father You Had. He regularly coaches busy dads to not repeat the mistakes their fathers made, but instead, to create fantastic relationships with their kids. He is, through his years of pastoral work, a founding board member and fatherhood trainer for the Prison Entrepreneurship Program.

Episode’s Key TakeAWays

  1. Stop and notice about what you believe to be true about being a dad. Freeze time and assess whether how you are acting as a dad supports, guides and helps your kids be who they really are. All dads have a profound impact on their kids.
  2. How much of your parenting do you notice comes from your parents? What of it should you keep because it is wise and brilliant – and what do you want to get rid of because it doesn’t serve you, your relationship or your kids?
  3. As a dad, can you ask yourself (and be honest) these questions – who am I and how do I be great in the moments in my life? Being open to see who you are, what you believe and if it serves you is the first step to becoming a mindful dad – or a modern dad.
  4. From his book (see suggested resource below), Keith shares the 3 powerful fathering skills – these are what kids need from their dads (parents) to be whole, to grow up happy, to discover who they are and to be free to live what is greatest in them:
  5. Affirmation – positive reinforcement – provide regular communication that they are wonderful and loved – for who they are not for what they do. Praise only for achievement leads our kids to think they must continue to achieve in order to win our praise and affirmation. Affirming our kids helps them see that they are right as they are – that they are loved for who they are – they see their inner value. This creates self-esteem and confidence to be who they are, live their greatness no matter what pushback they get from their world.
  6. Acceptance is built around the term “no matter what.” This means that “no matter what” happens in their lives, we love and accept them. Approval and acceptance are not the same. Acceptance is who you are. Approval is about what you do. You can accept your child though you may disapprove of his or her particular behavior. Kids have to feel fully accepted at home or they will go out of the home to search for it – acceptance is that powerful for all of us.
  7. Affection is our ability to share that we love our kids. Be confident in physical affection – be a dad that is in touch with his feelings and is comfortable in sharing how he feels with each kid. Our “dad” stories can sometimes hold us back from being affectionate – from openly hugging and sharing how much we love our kids. Loving our kids is not a mom’s job – it is a parent’s job.
  8. Use these tools to be a modern dad – to show up in this moment, with this kid, supporting, loving, guiding, affirming and accepting. Think of what this creates in each kid – of being loved and valued all the time. This doesn’t mean we don’t correct, punish or let our kids get away with things. It just says to our kids, “No matter what you do, I will always accept and love you.” How would it feel for you to hear this from your father? How will you start to be more of this kind of father – and raise your dad game.

Be a great dad: Keith Zafren and his kidsSome question for parents:

  1. How can you get past whatever parenting you had to create the version of it you want?
  2. In what ways do you regularly affirm your kids?
  3. In what ways do you regularly accept your kids – for who they are, not for what they do?
  4. In what ways do you show affection to your kids?
  5. How are you creating the parent you want to be?
  6. Moms – how are you affirming your husbands to be great dads?

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Stop and Notice Challenge

Each week we ask you to stop and notice – to develop your skill of tuning in to you and your world. This week’s stop and notice challenge is:

  1. Stop and Notice what kind of father you had. What of it do you want to continue? What is outdated and needs changing?
  2. Stop and Notice how you affirm your kids. How do you remind them daily they are loved for who they are, not just for what they achieve?
  3. Stop and Notice how you accept your kids. How do you help them see that who they are – in all of their differentness – is just right and good?
  4. Stop and Notice how affectionate you are with you kids. Do they feel that you love them and can you challenge some of the stories that play in your head about how dads show affection? Have you read The 5 Love Languages Of Children by Dr Gary Chapman? It can help you define how your kids best process feeling loved so you help them feel loved in a way they understand and appreciate.

You can be a great dad, no matter what kind of dad you had. You choose how to show up to your kids to help them feel affirmed, accepted and loved – at every moment in their lives. This is how to raise kids who are whole, happy and ready to be in the world and will someday become great dads themselves.


Suggested Resource:

How To Be A Great DadHow to Be A Great Dad- No Matter What Kind of Father You Had By Keith Zafren

“Most men spend very little time pondering the question, Am I doing the right things to become a great dad? This book addresses this most important question in a profound way. It’s filled with personal stories, focused on powerful principles, and is written for real people.

We all know how easy it is, biologically, to become a father. What we often don’t realize is that it takes work, dedication, and learned skills to become a dad, especially a great dad.” ~ Jack Canfield

You will learn: • The 15-day Great Dad Challenge that transforms fathers into dads. • Why dads matter way more than you may think. • The lifelong impact fathers have on their children. • The three simple and strategic skills to great dad success that all dads can master. • Why bad or absent dads can land kids in prison. • How to become the father you wish you’d had. • Why “father nurture” is as important as “mother nurture.” • Why saying “I’m proud of you” makes all the difference. • Why “I’ll love you no matter what” means so much to your kids. • Why a hug is not “just a hug” when it comes from Dad. • How to build your kids’ self-esteem. • How to give what you may not have received. •