10 Principles for Fathers

1. God made men to find meaning and satisfaction in life through doing difficult tasks. The heavier the load, the more satisfaction is found in lifting it. 

2. Freedom and responsibility must always go together, and should ordinarily be kept in equal proportion. 

3. Give your children (esp. your boys) as much freedom and responsibility as they can handle—plus a little bit extra. Boys need to be stretched out of their comfort zone by a father who is willing to help them succeed.

4. Fathers must coach and teach sufficiently in advance and then be ready to praise success and patiently train through failure. "Good try. Do this next time. When that happens, you can handle it this way."

5. A father's response to the failure of his son is the most important way that a father teaches him how to deal with adversity and failure. If a father becomes impatient and angry, he must repent and ask his son's forgiveness. 

6. Boys who collapse under failure or chafe under instruction need greater correction and discipline of their pride AND greater love and encouragement from their father.

7. Boys should be invited and encouraged to take risks that have a high probability of success. Fathers who set up their children to fail should admit their mistake and help their kids learn from it anyway. 

8. One of the greatest fears of a boy/man is the fear of failure and losing respect in the eyes of others. Parents who protect their children from risk are saying that they don't have confidence in the child's ability to succeed. This only breeds a deeper fear of failure and a greater aversion to risk.

9. If mothers are worried about their boys doing something dangerous, the father should gently reassure her and tell her not to watch if it makes her too nervous. In order for this to work, the man must have already earned the trust of his wife.

10. None of this is possible unless a man has a clean conscience before God and cares not in the least what anyone else thinks of him except his heavenly Father.

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