I remember seeing Empire Strikes Back in the movies at age ten and just being blown away by the reveal that Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker’s father. I seriously had NO freaking clue it was coming. Of course, know we all know the story and watching Vader kicking Luke’s ass just enough to try and break him, but not kill him, isn’t as powerful anymore.
Buuuuut… 10,000 people are born everyday in America who don’t know that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father.
For good or bad, the father-kid relationship is emotionally charged. Do your best to make that a good emotional charge.
99% of the Game stuff that works on wives and everyone else, works just the same with your kids. Yeah sure you have to be Beta and take care of them and provide your basic comforts, but that just makes you boring old chump dad with a wallet. Add some Alpha into your actions and overall behavior. Then you’re the cool dad that does stuff. Your kids love you, but they want to be proud of you too. They want to be able to have a conversation with their friends where they use the line, “Well my dad….” and follow it with something cool about you. Your kids may not always be talking to you in anything greater than one word sentences, but they are always talking about you.
Also if you’re a boy, most of the coolest things in childhood happen immediately after your dad says, “Don’t tell your mother.” One time after dad said that, we had a second-and-a-half of airtime in the car. I shit you not. Though as a caveat I do have to mention you probably shouldn’t go all Dukes of Hazard yourself with your kids in the car in 2012. The damn airbags go off with just the slightest jostle these days. We’re from New Zealand, the national motto is “She’ll be right mate.” Also Dad had thousands of hours of motorsport experience under his belt, the gravel road was fairly empty and if it all went wrong, it was only about a thirty or forty foot drop off onto the rocky shore below covered with several hundred mating bull seals.
(Huh… I just remembered that was in fact my first official driving lesson.)