Be The Dad Today

Welcome to - my goal is to encourage you to make the most of TODAY before today becomes yesterday too quickly.

Follow BeTheDadToday on Twitter and consider turning on mobile alerts so you can get occasional reminders to MAKE TODAY COUNT as a Dad.

"Like" us on on Facebook too!

Dads Are Saying:

Monday, January 24, 2011 @ 02:01 AMKarl Bastian

How does a kid spell love? It isn’t L-O-V-E… it’s P-L-A-Y!

You can say you love a kid a thousand times, but they’ll never believe it until you play with them! I’ve often said, “Play is the work of children.” What does this mean? For grown-ups, play is what we do when we take a break from work. Work, sadly, is our default mode. We get up and go to work. But once in a while, we take a break from work to play. Whether it is a short break at work, from work, or to get away from work on vacation. Play is an escape for us from a normal life of working. For our children, life is quite the opposite! Their default mode is play! They work too, but only when they have to, and it then requires that they take a break from play in order work! And can’t wait to get back to playing again! (Too bad we can’t be more like them!)

The dad who connects best with his kids is the one who learns how to connect with his children by making playing with his kids more his default mode, not a mode he has to switch to. When he is playful all the time – his kids feel loved, because they feel he is connecting with them on their level. This doesn’t mean he has to play all the time – he is their provider, he must work. But he can be playful whenever they are around and not be irritated by their playful spirit understanding that it is their natural way, and even join into it in little ways that show he understands and can enter their world easily and naturally while still being comfortable in his own. He can find little playful ways to join them, even if only for moments at a time.

The dad who is not too proud to get on the ground, laugh loudly or look rather silly, is a dad whose kids are going to feel loved and special. You never know what your kids have gone through during the day, and the dad who can make them laugh can turn everything around.

The Bible says,

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

Proverbs 17:22

What kind of dad do you want to be? One who dries up the spirit of your kids? Or one who is the medicine that cheers them up after perhaps a rough day? A playful dad is a dad who will brighten up their every day! Here is something to keep in mind when you play with your kids:

What makes for Positive P.L.A.Y.?

P = Purposeful Play – your goal is to connect with your kids and deepen your relationship with them while you play. Make sure you accomplish this while you play. Words of affirmation and affection during your play will make your play time purposeful.

L = Laughter -Laugh a lot. Roll around. Be silly. It doesn’t have to make sense. If you kid enjoys be tickled, work it in! Make your play time fun and memorable. Have code words for communicating when your tickling or wrestling is too much, but horse play and goofing off is one of kids’ greatest love languages. Love is also spelled “TIME” – and laughter filled time is the best time spent.

A = Active playing not passive playing. Sitting with your child while they play doesn’t count! You need to be engaged. Grab the toys and play along. They can tell if you are engaged or faking it. Role play, do voices, act things out, tell stories and get in to it. Embarrass them if you must, but you are your child’s favorite playmate. And you are earning the right to be the one they go to later when they need help and counsel. Invest in that relationship now by being engaged in what is important to them now, as simply or silly as it may appear to you now.

Y = Yield your agenda. You may have had plans or ideas for this time together, but let your child be in charge. If they keep changing their mind, it’s O.K. Usually you are in charge and giving the instructions. This is their time. They may even test you when you say that you want to play with them and let them take the lead. Show some humility and willingness to follow. They will love it.

If you will Be Playful – you will make everyday count with your children!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011 @ 12:01 PMKarl Bastian

I know a man personally who once heard outside his office door a strange low voice calling his full name and title and requesting an audience. Upon opening the door, he was surprised to see his son standing there. When he asked his son why he had lowered his voice and called him by his full name and title his son replied, “I thought maybe I’d have a better chance at getting to see you that way.”

Obviously, somehow, over time, this Dad had given his son the impression that his staff had easier access to him than his children! This Dad told me he canceled all his appointments and spent the rest of the day with his son. He asked him, “Son, what do you want to do today?” His son said, “I’d like to fly a kite.” And fly a kite they did! The next day this father received a drawing from his son of the two of them flying a kite. Oddly enough, the son drew the kite in the shape of a heart – though it had not been, and he wrote the following note to his father below the drawing. “Dad, I love you so much, I’d die for you.” You can imagine the impact of this experience on this busy father.

This is a true story. I have a scanned copy of the picture and you can see it yourself in the online video First Things First on But the point is: Are you available to your kids? Can they reach you when they need you? Do they KNOW they are more important to you than anyone else in your life? It’s O.K. to be busy. Your children can understand that you are providing for the family, but they need to know that they can break through that busyness without annoying you when its important and they need you. This father radically changed his life after this experience with his son, even changing jobs to be more available to his son. Are your kids more important than your job? Of course. BUT DO THEY KNOW THAT?

Being a Dad is your highest calling, and there are just a few short years while they are in your home – and then YOU will be the one wanting them to be available to you.

“Show me, LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days;
Let me know how fleeting my life is.
You have made my days a mere hand-breadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure.”

Psalm 39:4-5

God’s Word reminds us of how short our life truly is. And how fast it will go by, and how fast our kids are going to grow up, and how quickly we may be dealing with regret, if we don’t make time now to be available for our children. Don’t miss the opportunities you have NOW to be available for them.

Being available means that your kids know that they have direct access to you and that they can bypass anyone to get to you. Of course, there can be rules as to when they do this – but when it is important – they need to know, nothing is more important to you than them. They can contact you or interrupt anything when they need you. You are their Dad, and they are your Child. And you are Available to them 24/7. And that is something that will last a lifetime!

Saturday, January 8, 2011 @ 03:01 AMKarl Bastian

As dads we live pretty busy lives, don’t we? Between work, and home and work (it seems to overflow, doesn’t it?) there are more demands on us than it is humanly possible to manage. How can we possibly be a good dad?

Something has to give, right?

The answer is yes! The key is accepting that reality and choosing not to let it be your kid(s). In just a few short years, they won’t be around to demand your time. All too soon, you will be able to work those extra hours in a quiet empty house where noisy toys once irritated you. In fact, before you know it, you’ll be complaining that they are too busy for you!

That is why the Bible warns,

“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity…”

Eph 5:15-16a

God knows that all too often we end up with regrets. The passage where this verse is found isn’t talking about parenting, but the principle applies – while we are running around trying to keep up with everything, our kids are steadily getting older. Ask yourself, Seriously, how important are the things you are working on? What would really happen if you didn’t get all them done? How bad would the consequences truly be if you blew something off at work to spend more time with your kids?

When it comes to being an intentional dad, it’s all about saying “no” to the right things and being willing to say “yes” to your kid(s) instead. You have to say “no” to something, probably several things every day. Say no to the boss or some co-workers for a change. (!) You might just enjoy it! Then spend some extra time on the floor playing or laughing or playing some silly board game. Make a memory! Lose the clock and find the fun!

Friday, December 31, 2010 @ 08:12 PMKarl Bastian

Welcome to – a brand new website for Dads, brought to you by a dad. Not a perfect dad, but an intentional dad who has been encouraged by many via facebook, his blog, twitter and in person to start a ministry to Dads – encouraging, coaching and providing insights on how to be – not a better dad (you are probably a great dad already!) but a more intentional dad.

There is plenty of great “parenting help” available – that’s NOT what this website is about. You may get some parenting help and guidance via BeTheDadToday, but that isn’t it’s primary goal. That may be a benefit of it – and if so, this author is grateful! But the goal of this website, the Twitter account and Facebook page will be to give Insights and Reminders on how to MAKE EVERY DAY COUNT.

Sometimes what dads need is not so much “Advice” as just REMINDERS. Nudges to do what they already know they should be doing.

Creating this site will do that very thing for me. I waited fifteen years to be a father, and the lessons I’ve learned I’ll share; and the wisdom I have, I learned from being the son of a very real and transparent father who was always very open about being a work in progress, as I am myself today.

So if you need nudges, want to make every day count, and are open to helpful suggestions on how you can too before your days as dad with kids in the house are over, then:

And be ready to grow as a Dad!

Luke’s Dad.