Facebook post 4-21-14. Parenting with Purpose: One Word. If you could describe your dad in one word, good or bad, what would it be? For me the word would be: Loyal. How about your mom? My mom in one word would be: Laughter. Now, if your kids described you in one word, what would they say? Would it be positive or negative?

I speak to guys often at conferences about being good dads. Almost every Dad Session I start by asking the men to describe their dads in one word. These are some of the words I have heard recently. Security. Humble. Angry. Absent. Provider. Jerk. Loving. Friend. As you can see, their dads have impacted these men, some in positive ways and some negative.

It’s a simple concept but one a lot of people lose sight of in day-to-day living. Parent in such a way to have a positive impact on your kids, not a negative one. Keep that in front of you everyday in everything you do. Keep that in front of you when you are in public and you want to yell at your kids. Keep that in front of you when you are exhausted and feel like giving up. There is no such thing as a perfect family, so don’t work to be perfect, work to have a positive impact. Parenting is tough. Don’t ever forget that God gives strength to His children who ask. (Philippians 4:13) God does not intend for us moms and dads to do it alone. He is there for you 24/7 offering His strength and grace to those who will ask.

Papa & Kelly Copa 2013

Carol and I have worked hard this last 22 years to try to have a positive impact on our children’s lives. It is one of the most difficult things I have ever done in my life (a lot of failures, falling down and needing to ask for forgiveness), but also one of the most rewarding. Our five children are five of mine and Carol’s closest friends.

In the coming weeks and months I want to blog about things Carol and I have learned along the way from a lot of different people who have challenged us to be godly parents, seeking God for His grace and guidance and having a positive impact on our kids.

My dad was a tough guy when I was growing up. I would have described him in one word as: Angry. Now my dad is a precious and loyal friend to me. After he has worked so hard to reach out to me (a rebellious teenager turned adult), he has taught me it’s not too late to have a positive impact on your kids. “Thanks dad, for reaching out to me as an adult and for all the great things you did for me as a kid.”