March DADness: Sweet 16 Gifts The Best Dads Give Their Kids


The NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 round tips off today, and it is sure to be packed full of great games, tense moments, and March Madness bracket busting!  As March Madness continues, so does my March DADness series.  Today it’s all about giving gifts to our kids.

I’ve been enjoying the games with my family so far.  Although about half of my kids final four teams have been eliminated, and my bracket is on life support, we are still having a great time!

To me watching basketball with my family is one of the great gifts in life. [Tweet this]

The joy in giving to our kids

As a dad, there isn’t much to compare with giving to your kids.  We get so excited and go all out for birthdays and holidays as this is a time we get to give gifts to our kids.

We enjoy the looks on their faces when they tear open a package.  We melt as they jump into our arms and squeeze us as a thank you for the gift they’ve received.  And we proudly watch as they play with or use the gift we’ve given them.  Those moments are all priceless.

Give more lasting gifts to our kids

Giving material gifts is wonderful.  However, we all understand these gifts will not last forever, nor will our kids enjoy them forever.  Many times that enjoyment only lasts until the next day!

There are some gifts we can give which will have a more lasting impact on our children.  Gifts which will grow your relationship with your kids.  Gifts that prepare your kids to handle life better.

These are the best gifts, given by the best dads.  Giving these will help you to continue your March DADness championship run in fatherhood. I encourage you to continue to continue giving gifts to your kids.

While you do, be intentional about giving the kinds of gifts that have the greatest impact on your relationship and their lives. [Tweet this]

Sweet 16 Gifts the Best Dads Give Their Kids

  1. Your time.  Gifts and stuff are great and fun.  But nothing is more important and valuable to your kids than spending quality time with them.
  2. Good examples.  There  are so many influences, both good and bad, in our kids’ lives today.  As a dad one of the best things you can give them are good examples.  As a man, a husband, a dad, and a leader.
  3. A good name.  What you call them has an impact on what they become.  They may already have your last name, but what does that name represent?  The (first and middle) names we chose for our kids actually have meaning, and we can honestly say they live according to their names.  New dads, are you naming your kids something because it sounds good, or does it mean something?
  4. Support.  A child with the support of their father can accomplish great things.  Support is not just in words, but action.  Actually show up, actually get down and dirty to help, and do what you can to help your kids achieve their dreams.
  5. Respect.  Although our kids are little people, they still deserve our respect.  The best way to get them to respect you, is to respect them.  Don’t talk down on them, talk to them.  Still be the dad, but treat them as you would want to be treated.
  6. Truth.  One of the biggest mistakes a dad can make is to lie to or in the presence of their kids.  Even if it seems to be harmless, like trying to get the child menu prices at a restaurant.  That sets a precedent and causes confusion.  Our kids may think it is okay to lie in certain situations.  Be truthful even when it may hurt you.
  7. A listening ear.  My wife and I say our youngest son looks deep into you when talking.  He desires to be heard just like everyone else.  Our twelve year old has “real” issues that she wants someone to hear.  If we don’t listen then we are missing out on opportunities and opening the door for something or someone else to hear what she has to say.
  8. Discipline.  The best definition of discipline is doing something you don’t want to do, in order to get a future result you desire.  The bible teaches us that God disciplines those He loves.  There is a future blessing for those who are disciplined.  We should give that same gift to our children.  We should also explain why the discipline is happening as well.
  9. A chance to mess up.  Helicopter parenting is a term I recently heard which describes the parent that is always hovering over their kid to try to prevent them from falling, doing something, or hurting themselves.  I don’t like it, but have been guilty.  Our kids have to learn to mess up, and they have to be given the opportunity to learn from their mess ups.
  10. An apology.  Just like our kids mess up, so do we.  When we mess up, we should apologize.  Apologizing for our mistakes shows our kids it is okay to make mistakes.  And it is even better to acknowledge them, and hopefully learn from them.
  11. Encouraging words.  Sticks and stones may break their bones, and words can really devastate them.  Don’t be fooled by that old nursery rhyme.  Our words can do just as much damage as anything else.  But when used to encourage they can be one of the greatest gifts you can give your kids.
  12. Exposure.  When our kids leave our homes, the world will be theirs to discover.  That can be challenging when they have not been exposed to much.  Expose your kids to as much as you possibly can.  The internet has made the world smaller, so now we do not just need to expose them to things in our local areas and country, but the things happening around the world.
  13. Expectations and boundaries.  Our job as dad is to constantly communicate what we expect of our kids.  At the same time our kids need boundaries.  As little kids this is easy.  Don’t cross the street, don’t go past the corner.  As they get older those boundaries will widen, and the expectations will grow.  Good communication about both are great gifts.
  14. A safe place.  A dad’s job is to provide and protect our families.  Our kids need a safe place to go not just from physical danger, but from emotional and spiritual danger as well.  Let your kids know in words and actions that your presence is a safe place to be no matter the situation.
  15. Learning.  We are the number one educator for our kids.  This doesn’t start or end with school, whether traditional or homeschooling.  Teaching our kids how to learn will help them greater than teaching some basic facts or even adding and subtracting.  The old saying goes, “give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for  a day…teaching him how to fish and he’ll eat for the rest of his life.”  When you teach your kids how to learn, they can and will learn anything they put their mind to.
  16. Love.  Love is the greatest gift you can give anybody, especially your kids.  No matter what you do with or to your kids, do it in love.  Love covers a multitude of sins, so even the rare (no often) times you mess up, when you do it in love it covers you and your kids.

A great gift for you and your kids

A great gift idea for you and your kids to enjoy together, which will provide lasting benefits, is Mental Toughness Academy’s online training program for kids.  Their Mental Toughness Training will help your kids build confidence, focus, and better handle challenges in life, school, and sports.

I am going through it with my kids and highly recommend it.  It is a great way to spend time together, while giving your kids practical ways to succeed in life.

As a March DADness sponsor, Mental Toughness Academy is giving away one FREE training program. [Tweet this]

Click here to learn more about Mental Toughness Academy, and see below for the FREE Mental Toughness Training offer.

Enter to win a FREE Mental Toughness Training Program for your kids

To enter and give yourself a chance to win a FREE online program, you must take all three of the following actions:

  1. Leave a comment below.  Answer the question at the bottom of this post.
  2. Fill out the special form.  I have a separate form to make it convenient for you to provide your email address.
  3. Follow @jbledsoejr on Twitter and tweet a link to this post.  You can do so automatically by clicking here.  (If you don’t have a Twitter account you can use Facebook.  Use Facebook by liking my Facebook Pageclicking here, copying and pasting the text as your status update.)

What is the best gift you have given your kids and why?  If you do not have kids, what is the best gift your dad has given you?  Please share in the comment section below.

Mar 28, 2013