Being a good father is one of the difficult jobs there is. No matter the number of children you have, your work as a father is never complete. It is a job that you will do for the rest of your life throwing in your care, support, and time. As a good father, you have to be a good disciplinarian and role model, and be sympathetic to your children’s needs without being a pushover. This article is a guide to assist you in how to be a good father.
Read: How to be a good mother
How to Be a Good Father
- Your time: Being a good father requires you to make time for your kids. You shouldn’t only be interested in providing for their needs and working round the clock, your time is of a priority to them. Your children need to know that you’ll be home in time for dinner, if you’ll take them to the baseball game on Sunday, and if you’ll be around for movie night that week. If you want to be a good father, then you have to set aside time daily or weekly for your children no matter how busy you are. Plug this time into your schedule. Maybe your best nights for your children are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. It’s often challenging planning “daddy time” for your kids each week but it is a great way to strengthen your relationship. Also, make time to see each child individually (if you have more than one child) so your unique relationships can develop.
- Be there for the milestones: You should endeavor to be there for important milestones in your children’s lives. Arrange your work schedule so that you can be there for your child’s first day of school, your child’s first big sporting event, or your child’s high school graduation. Those memories will be remembered for the rest of their lives and having you be there will mean a lot.
- Teach your children the important lessons: You should also be present to teach your children how to complete the basic tasks of life. You can help your son use the bathroom, teach your children to brush their teeth properly, help them learn how to ride a bike, and teach them to drive when the time comes. You can also teach your sons how to shave and maintain good hygiene. Your kids will need you to learn the big life lessons as well as the small everyday tasks. You and your spouse should both share the tasks as you may handle the boys and your partner, the girls.
- Develop strong communication: You need to be able to communicate with your children when you’re there. Being present is not just enough, being able to get your kids to open up to you and discuss life issues and challenges are very vital. Let them know how much you are worried about their well being.
- Help your children learn from their mistakes: Do not always just blame them for their mistakes but teach them how to learn from them. If they’ve done something wrong, you should help them see why and talk about how to avoid the behavior in the future instead of simply punishing them and moving on. Furthermore, praise your child’s efforts constantly and be gentle with your criticisms. Attitude will go a long way as your child develops self-esteem.
- Plan trips with your kids: To be a good father, you should take the time to go on trips with your kids with or without their mother. Planning these trips a few months in advance will give your kids something fun and different to look forward to.
- Reward your children appropriately: As a good father, you should reward your children according to their deeds. When they’ve done something good encourage them and if they are wrong, punish and correct them accordingly. When your children are younger, rewarding them with affection can go a long way in helping them see how proud you are. Acknowledge your child’s efforts and praise them for trying. Don’t reward your children for something that is expected of them, like doing chores around the house or cleaning up after themselves. If you do, then they’ll feel like they’re doing you a favor.
- Be consistent: Being consistent is just as important as having a system of punishments and rewards. If your child is misbehaving, the consequences should be the same every time, even if it’s inconvenient or you’re tired or out in public. And if your child does something great, don’t forget to make them feel special, no matter how tired or stressed out you are. If you don’t act consistently, then your children will know that your reactions can be influenced by your moods.
- Avoid yelling: Though you may feel enraged by your children’s behavior, yelling is not the solution. Don’t yell at your children, no matter how bad the urge is. You can raise your voice slightly to let them know they’ve made a mistake, but if you yell or scream, they’ll be afraid of you and won’t want to communicate.
- Avoid violence: Anger management is very important when you are dealing with your kids. No matter how angry you are, you should avoid hitting, hurting, or grabbing your children. This will hurt them physically and emotionally and will make them want to avoid you at all costs. If your children think that you may get violent, they will shut down and won’t want to be around you. You should avoid being violent around your children, or around their mother if you want to gain their respect.
- Be respected and loved: Though you are a strict disciplinarian, you should let them know that they have your love and affection and that you have an amazing time bonding with them. To be a good father, you need to toe the line between enforcing tough lessons and also making your children feel loved and appreciated. If you’re too concerned about being respected, then your children may not feel comfortable enough to open up to you. If you’re too concerned about being loved, then your children may see you as a pushover who won’t lay down the law.
- Be a role model: If you want your children to act in a way that meets your expectations, then they should see the positive behavior from you first. Avoid behaviors and actions that you would never want them to indulge. Treat your children’s mother with respect. You should let them see how much you love and respect their mother. If you’re mean to your own wife, then your children will see that it’s okay to be mean to Mom or other people because Dad does it.
- Help around the house: Helping out around the house will not only make your wife happy, but it’ll help your children see that you and your wife work as a team and that they should join in.
- Earn your children’s respect: Respect is earned, not given, and you should do what you can so that your children respect you as a father. If you’re not around a lot, yell at their mother, or are only occasionally in the mood to discipline them, then they won’t respect you just because you’re their father. You should act in a way that is admirable, honest, and consistent so that your children see that you’re a model father and a person worthy of their admiration.
- Don’t place unreasonable expectations on your children: Do not expect too much or too little from your children. A child’s life can be filled with pressures, from siblings to kids at school to teachers to coaches. Help your child understand their desires and assess their capabilities and limitations. Help them set achievable goals. Encourage them to meet their full potential but avoid living vicariously through them by expecting them to achieve what you had achieved or hoped to have achieved.