Just for Dads ~ January 2023

by Ward Williams
Executive director, Vineyard Family Services



My wife and I love to share with and show each other YouTube and Facebook videos. We find these videos can be a great way to unwind, and sometimes they are very entertaining! My wife cannot name 10 college football coaches, but she knows what Mike Leach had to say about weddings, pirates, Halloween candy, and mascot chances in The Hunger Games. I could not name 10 professional dancers, but I have seen tWitch dance multiple times and I’ve watched his family perform group dances on Instagram. Both these men had loving families, professional success, and creative powers—and both left earth unexpectedly within days of each other. One died of a heart attack, and the other’s death was self-inflicted.

One of the five characteristics of a 24/7 dad is the need to take care of themselves. As fathers, being alive is a necessity for spending time with our kids. Our overall health will impact the quality of our relationships. Taking care of oneself is not selfish or self-absorbed; rather it is realizing that our health influences those around us.

Photo by Conner Baker | Unsplash

The most common descriptor I heard mentioned about both Mike Leach and tWitch was that they were one of a kind. Being in the responsible fatherhood field for 20 years, I know that research has proven that fathers uniquely influence their children in many ways, including health, wealth, and life longevity.

At the beginning of each year, many of us make a commitment to get in shape and live a healthier lifestyle. We need to evaluate how we are teaching our children to care for themselves physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. As you are thinking about joining the health club, dropping some bad habits, and picking up some new disciplines, remember these behaviors are both taught and caught through observation. We must continually learn ways to pass on healthy living patterns and maintain and model healthy relationships. We must learn to live healthy in the areas that go beyond outward appearances. We are all created one of a kind, and living a healthy life helps to ensure that others have a greater chance of benefiting from our unique gifts and contributions. May this be the year that you find a way to take care of yourself and find opportunities to teach your kids ways to develop healthy habits.

Ward Williams is the founder and executive director of Vineyard Family Services. Contact him at ward@vfsdads.com.

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