Being a Good Father in Real-Time

May 3, 2022

The world is pulling fathers in many different directions. What does it mean to be a father? What does it mean to be a good father in real-time?

The following is from a speech given by then President Barack Obama on Father’s Day in 2008.

“If we are honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that too many fathers are missing – missing from too many lives and too many homes. They have abandoned their responsibilities, they’re acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families have suffered because of it. We know the statistics – that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crimes; they’re nine times more likely to drop out of school; twenty times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, run away from home, or become teen parents because the father wasn’t in the home. And the foundations of our communities and our country are weaker because of this. We need fathers to recognize that responsibility doesn’t just end at conception. What makes you a man is not the ability to have a child – it’s the courage to raise a child that makes you a father.”

Being a father means spending quality time with your kids. This is a choice. You need to know what matters to your kids. President Obama laid out clearly what happens when you don’t spend REAL TIME with your kids, so let’s define what real-time is and what it looks like.


R elevant time.  This is truly meaningful time, what many would call “quality time”.  This is intentional time that is planned and intended for real connection with your kids.

E xpected time.  This is regular, consistent time spent with your kids.  Think of something that can be done daily, like a family meal.  Maybe a daily time isn’t applicable to your situation, so think of a weekly time, like a family game night.

A ttentive time.  This is time spent putting your kids first.  This can be time spent doing something you know your kids love to do, like playing catch, going bowling, having a tea party, or playing dress-up.

L oving time.  Love is not a feeling or an emotion, it is an action.  Spend time loving on your kids.  Make sure to communicate to them how much you love them, how proud you are of them, and how bright of a future you see for them.  Talk about their dreams, their hopes, and the things they are afraid of or are struggling with.

You have an amazing chance to serve your kids and a limited window to help nurture and develop their future. The choice is yours to make and we hope you choose to be a REAL-TIME father!  Did you know we can help you to be a real-time father?  Our fatherhood program, Fathers in Training (FIT), was created to parallel our Earn While You Learn program for mothers. FIT is a free program that will challenge you to be the best father you can be by walking alongside you through our skill-building classes and mentorship.  If you are interested in enrolling in our FIT program, contact us today!

Options Health is a safe place where you can confidentially come and discuss sexual health, pregnancy, and relationship issues.  Feel free to contact us today to take advantage of our free services, including pregnancy testing, ultrasound, options consultation, STI testing for Chlamydia & Gonorrhea, parenting education, and abortion aftercare.  We are here for you and ready to listen!