As a young boy, the influence my dad had on me was unequaled.

I can still picture him telling stories, playing with us, working hard to provide for us, laughing, and correcting us. He didn’t have just abilities – he had superpowers.

5 Superpowers of a Dad

Like moms, dads bring their own unique and essential “superpowers” to the home. What “dad skills” might be considered superpowers, and how can dads exercise and improve them?

1. Observation skills

Okay, this might not sound impressive, but it’s huge. Most of our communication is non‐verbal, conveyed through tone and body cues. Because of this, we tend to miss out on a lot of information. But watch what happens when you take note of your kids’ words and actions and reflect those back to them verbally. You’ll be amazed how much it means to kids to know you’re trying to see into their world.

2. Building skills

Dads can build both physically and verbally. We all have the capacity to at least build things with Legos with our kids. Why not look up how to build things on YouTube, like making an epic homemade slip n’ slide in the backyard, or maybe a garden. I can still remember the superhero power I felt as my two young children helped me build our first playset.

Not all dads feel confident physically building things, but every dad can develop verbal building skills. Establishing Positive Family Communication (Asset #2) can be the foundation for building your child’s Self‐Esteem (Asset #38). Our families are fueled by our encouraging words and destroyed by critical and negative ones. You can say, text, or write a message of inspiration to your kids. Use a chalk marker to write some uplifting words on their mirror (a place where many devastating lies crop up). Most kids love it when their dad stops to look into their eyes and say genuine words of love and encouragement.

3. Listening Skills

Kids yearn to be heard. When a dad truly listens, a child suddenly feels important and loved. Listening not only gives you connection, but also insight into what may be going on inside your child. Many kids (even teens) really do want to talk. Listening shows that you Care (Asset #26) about the person who is talking.

4. Teaching skills

The three superpowers above will help unlock this one. Whether you know it or not, you have a lot to offer in this area. Perhaps you can teach life skills – helping to establish your child’s Sense of Purpose (Asset #39) and Positive View of Personal Future (Asset #40). Or invest in extracurricular activities like Creative Activities (Asset #17), Youth Programs (Asset #18) or participate in a Religious Community (Asset #19). Every dad can (and should) teach kids something about Restraint (Asset #31) and Resistance Skills (Asset #35) when it comes to sex, drugs and other negative behaviors (yes, you really can). The key to teaching is that it works best when you have a strong relationship.

5. Strength skills

Each dad brings lots of strengths they can share with their kids. Learning to express emotion in healthy ways is an asset that will take your child far in life. Another huge strength is optimism – modeling a Positive View of your Personal Future (Asset #40) will never go to waste. Learn it. Develop it. When you bring “Vitamin O” to your family you bring mental and emotional power. Strengths can be physical, too. Dads wrestling with their children, going on bike rides, playing sports or working out with their kids – these all provide relational as well as physical benefits.

Dads, your superpowers are waiting to be unleashed. Develop these and you will help your family thrive. They will love it, and you will too!