3 Fatherhood Phases


3 fatherhood phases (and when to shift at each)


Dads often tell me, "My kid won't listen to me." This often happens because as your kid gets older, you keep parenting him like he was young. It helps to think about fatherhood in phases: Referee/Coach/Cheerleader. Big idea: As your kid grows, you shift into a new phase. #1 Referee: When your kid's young, it's tons of rules...don't touch, stop, no. But through rules, your kid knows you're present. I hear a referee as Peter writes, look, that's the rules...Jesus suffered, you will too...Trials gonna trial (1 Peter 4:12). #2 Coach: Trials will come, but rejoice, God's at work. When you suffer, God isn't "Out of Office"—he's working. Suffering should strengthen your faith, not weaken it (1 Peter 4:13). The coach doesn't just show up for the big game. He's there at every practice. If your kid's a teen, he doesn't need more rules, he needs you/coach walking with him through daily practice. #3 Cheerleader: They insult you, you're blessed... People hate you for following Jesus? Let's G-O! (1 Peter 4:14). By high school, you gotta shift to cheerleader mode. You gotta say, "Consider this...," rather than "Do this" and "Do that." You're no longer calling the plays. Yeah, you see the field, but you're watching from the sideline. Trust me, your kid will hear you cheering; if you're loud enough.


“Noble fathers have noble children.” –Euripides

“The best way of training the young is to train yourself at the same time; not to admonish them, but to be seen never doing that of which you would admonish them.” –Plato

“The father who does not teach his son his duties is equally guilty with the son who neglects them.” –Confucius

“A child enters your home and for the next twenty years makes so much noise you can hardly stand it. The child departs, leaving the house so silent you think you are going mad.” –John Andrew Holmes


Referee/Coach/Cheerleader: Which phase are you in right now? Consider the stage of your kid and then decide what fatherhood phase you're in. You might need to shift into a new phase of fatherhood as your kid grows. At each phase, you're constantly active, involved, and engaged—always present and always pointing your kid to God. Comfort, confidence, and faith are found in a father who knows when to shift to referee/coach/cheerleader at the right time. Remember: Being a godly husband and dad is your highest calling this week. Yes, this is me yelling from the sideline for you!

Have a great week,

Kent Evans
Founder, Manhood Journey

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