I have grown to understand some things that I feel fathers should know, based on my experience as a father, and my experience in Texas Family Law. I have no intention of targeting fathers over mothers in this letter, but only to provide my perspective, and let it be known that this perspective can also be applied to either parent.
1) Always put your children first, over your own immediate needs, with the goal of long term solutions that benefit the family unit and not short term solutions that disrupt the family unit.
2) Show respect and care for the other parent and demand that your children do the same. Never disparage the other parent to the child for the same reason as you would never tolerate another disparaging your own mother or parent.
3) Never let your children know about your challenges and difficulties, both financially or in life in general. Force yourself to smile, man up and work hard, and be a solver of problems and not a creator of problems.
4) Stop having more children if you are unable to manage the children you already have.
5) Instill morals at the earliest age possible through your example because that is what children will pick up on the fastest. Utilize every resource possible in doing this, including your church, educational programs, outdoor activities, or anything helpful.
6) Stay away from any substance that alters your judgment and ability to supervise your children competently. Studies show that the worst and most regretful things you will do in life will be while you are under the influence of something that alters your judgment.
7) Teach your children to have pride in their family by educating them on the morals and ethics that members of your family have used to do better in life.
8) Be patient with children, love and help them. Children lack the ability and independence to truly care for their own physical and emotional needs, and they are also still developing their minds and judgment, so take the lead and shepherd your children. Stay active in guiding them through life and always go out of your way to show your children you love them- you can never say “I love you” too much to your child.
I promise you all, that if you do most or all of the things mentioned above, you are very unlikely to end up in family law court, your children will grow up well and they will likely give back to you because of your kindness and support for them. Any father should be of the mind frame that you think of your children often, put their needs above your own, and be the last thing you think of before you go to bed and the first thing you think of when you wake up.
Thank you for reading this. I hope it helps.
Attorney Ricardo A. Barrera