Guest post by Zach Buckley
As a father and husband, many men feel pressure to provide for the wants and needs of their family. Even as gender roles change and women increasingly become the top money-makers in the house, most men still feel responsible for ensuring the well-being of their family. And that can come in many forms.
Aside from material needs, Hammonton Photography via Compfight. In fact, some might argue that developing healthy relationships and serving as a strong role model for children can outweigh some of the more tangible needs our society emphasizes.
By taking a proactive approach to caring for family members, any man can fulfill his responsibilities as protector while enriching the lives of his loved ones. Following are some guidelines for achieving those goals.
Making sure basic needs are met
Meeting basic needs begins with finding a stable, secure job and doing it well. Without a steady stream of income, you can’t reliably provide for your family. And while you want to provide the best, you don’t want to live beyond your means. Before you buy a big house in the suburbs or a high-end minivan, crunch the numbers to make sure it’s within your budget.
If you don’t already have one, create a savings account to be used only for a “rainy day” – an unexpected life event can be a big financial strain on your family.
Being a positive role model
Your children are always watching you. They’ll try to follow in your footsteps, for better or for worse, and as they get older, they will develop their worldview based on the example you set.
One of the best ways you can influence your children is by modeling positive decision-making and being transparent about the mistakes you make. Children will watch you to make sure you’re practicing what you preach and that you follow through on your promises. If you set a good example for your kids, they’ll be more likely to display good behavior themselves while avoiding bad decisions and a bad reputation as they get older.
Becoming actively involved with your family
Just by being around your children and interacting with them, you can help shape their development in positive ways. Have conversations with them and encourage them to be inquisitive about the world and to share their opinions. Guide their development and education by encouraging them to read, and demonstrate a respect for their interests and opinions. Find positive role models for your children, and always display patience with them as they hit stumbling blocks in their own personal growth. Developing this type of relationship can take time, but it can be invaluable to your children, providing emotional security and confidence for the rest of their lives.
Taking care of your family is no easy task. Many men end up making professional and personal sacrifices to ensure their loved ones have the greatest opportunities possible. But it’s just as important to make sure there’s balance between your work and personal life, allowing you to develop a strong relationship with your family. In the end, you might not have as many material possessions as you’d like, but you’ll have an invaluable bond with your wife and children.
About the author: Zach Buckley is a freelance writer based in the Midwest. He enjoys exploring developing trends in education, technology and culture. When he isn’t reading or writing blogs, he enjoys sampling good music and good food. Follow him on Twitter! @Zach_buckley