Fatherhood and Self Esteem

Am I a good father? I think that question is a trap. If I say I’m a good father I’ve likely blinded myself to areas where I need improvement. By contrast, if I think I’m a bad father I start moving in more morbid and neurotic directions. What I try to do instead is just keep focusing on being a father. I keep reminding myself about what all that entails and move in that direction. The key is to keep this about the present moment. Self-esteem is generally past-oriented–“Have I, in the past, been a good or bad father?” In an very important sense, that question doesn’t matter. And trying to get an answer to that question is really distracting you from being a father RIGHT NOW. Just be a father and stop ruminating.

~Richard Beck: Experimental Theology (in response to a comment)

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