This Is the Enemy of Good Parenting

There are so many sad examples: The father who can’t bear to be contradicted. The parents who refuse to admit when they are wrong. The mom who spends all her energy trying to impress other people. The father who is jealous of his own son, or threatened by the attention his daughter gets. 

All these parental failings—and make no mistake, they are failings—share a root cause: Ego. A sensitive fragile ego. In the way the ego is the enemy of collaboration, of self-improvement, of kindness, and ultimately of most forms of success—whether you’re a president, athlete, millionaire, musician, whatever—it is also the enemy of the most important job you hold: Being a great parent. 

Ego is not strength. It’s weakness. It makes you do things you regret. It projects your issues onto other people. It makes everyone suffer, including you, but mostly it is the young and the vulnerable who get caught in the blast radius of your ego explosion. They don’t know why you’re acting like this. They can’t understand the logic. They are being taught, by example, all the things you don’t want them to learn. 

If you’re serious about being a good father, you must constantly sweep away your ego. You must constantly question that voice in your head; the one that drives you to always be right, to always be in charge, to bask in your own certainty. 

Ego is the enemy. A good father is reasonable, calm, compassionate, willing to put others first. A good father isn’t fragile. A good father doesn’t care what people think, only what’s right. A good father wants their kids to do well, wants to be proven wrong if it makes things better. A good father is egoless.

P.S. This was originally sent on August 6, 2020. Sign up today for the Daily Dad’s email and get our popular 11 page eBook, “20 Things Great Dads Do Everyday.”

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