12 steps to authentic fathering: Nebraska v Iowa - father hugs son

12 steps to authentic fathering

As fathers we will impact our children’s lives deeply and forever, that is a given, the only choice is whether it will be for good or for bad.

The great privilege of  fathering is that you have the power to lay the foundation for an emotionally whole and successful life in your child.You are the most powerful, influential man in your child’s life.

Here are 12 fathering practices you can develop that will lay a deep lasting foundation for success in your child:


  • Truly see your children, discover the essence of who they are, what makes their hearts come alive.
  • Nurture your children, speak words of authentic affirmation to them, encourage them, never break them down or make them feel scared or unworthy.
  • Value your children, let them know that they are deeply treasured and appreciated by you.
  • Help your children discover their unique identity, their unique talents, likes and dislikes.
  • Validate your children, let them know that they matter, that their life counts.
  • Equip your children with the knowledge, life skills and education they need to succeed in life.
  • Engage with your children emotionally, physically and spiritually, dedicating quality time to them regularly and consistently
  • Set an example for your children by the way that you live your life, let your words be consistent with your actions
  • Provide for your children, to the best of your ability, giving them all that they need to live safely, comfortably and to receive a good education
  • Love your children in word and deed, leaving them in no doubt ever of your deep love and commitment to them, express your love freely.
  • Discipline your children, teaching them right from wrong and not spoiling them by letting them always get what they want.
  • Protect your children from physical, emotional and spiritual harm, guarding what they have access to and what influences them.
  • The joy and rewards of these 12 practices are immeasurable and the impact will resound through multiple generations. Make that pledge now for you, your wife, your children, their children and their children’s children.

    Craig Wilkinson

    Craig Wilkinson lives in Cape Town, South Africa with his wife Martinique and his two children Luke and Blythe. For the last 10 years Craig has worked in the Non Profit sector in the areas of experiential education, socio-economic development and the development of men and fathers. Prior to this he made his living as a consultant to the corporate sector in strategy and human resource development. An avid hiker, mountain biker and fitness buff Craig has a passion for the restoration of men to true masculinity and authentic fatherhood. He is the founder of Father a Nation (FAN), an NPO which restores and equips men to be great fathers. He believes that if we can heal men we can heal the world. Some of the work of FAN can be seen at www.fatheranation.co.za

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