I am shearing some great tips and advice about how to be a better dad that will help fathers become heroes to their children. Let us know if you agree with the advice/tips or how you would do it even better. The more you share, the more we will all grow into the dads we always wanted to be.
Tip #1 – Be Active
One of the most important things you can do as a father is to be active in your child’s life. This goes from the time they are born, changing diapers, rocking them to sleep and helping them take their first steps, all the way until they become adults and beyond.
My parents were anything but active in my life, and as much as I love them and enjoy spending time with them today, there’s still something missing. Not having them at sporting events or during many of my “firsts” sent the message that their lives were more important than mine.
As an adult, I can understand having that thought, but I will never send that message to my own children. I am a firm believer that we are each the most important things in the world, for, without us, there is no world, but by actively participating in my children’s school, sports and social lives, I hope to show them that they are the most important things to me. My reward is the smile on their faces when they look over and see daddy cheering them on and hopefully reinforcing their belief that they are never alone in their endeavors.
Tip #2 – Practice
As they say, practice makes perfect, and it’s no different with parenting. The more time you spend parenting, the better you will get at it. This doesn’t mean staying to yourself at home or spending all your time working. It means doing all the things your little ones expect of you and more. The fact that you are reading this post is proof you want to be a better dad and that you will go out of your way to learn how.
I’ve often said that our parents did the best they knew how. It’s true for any of us, so the more we know, the better we will do. For me, that means writing blogs and reading others so that I can know as much as possible about parenting as well as spending as much time as humanly possible with my girls. Ultimately, the goal is for our own kids not to say we did the best we knew how when they are our age.
Tip #3 – Take Pride
When you are with your kids, do you hold their hands? Carry them? Introduce them to the people you know around town? Tell people about their accomplishments? If not, you should.
By doing these types of things, you show your kids that you not only love them, but you are proud of who they are and to be a part of their lives. Take it a step further and tell them you are proud of them. When kids know their parents are proud of them, they are more confident in their day-to-day life. It allows you to be with your kids even when you aren’t around because they’ll have you in the back of their mind when they are facing uncertainty.
Tip #4 – Stay Attached
Humans have a tendency to take things out on those they are closest to, and that’s usually our family. Arguments and disagreements are inevitable and can sometimes go too far and hurt feelings. In these times, as parents, whether it was your feelings hurt or your child’s, it is your job to remain attached and never shut them out.
If your child is shutting you out, continue talking with them with love and affection. Avoiding a defensive attitude will show your child that they have no need to attack and that you are more interested in maintaining a happy home than being “right”.
I’ve been the “shut out” and the “shutee”, both as a child and an adult, and I know how easy it is to hold a grudge or remain quiet and pretend things are fine. Only after a good talk and a big hug do things get better, sometimes not even then, but if you always remain attached to your children, they will come around and vice versa.
Tip #5 – Earn Your Voice
The best way to stay attached to your children is to talk to them from the minute they are born and never stop. Quite often, fathers only talk to their kids when one of them has done something wrong. As someone that grew up that way, I can tell you that doing so makes your child not want to talk to you.
The more you talk to your children, the more you will earn their trust to talk to you about the issues in their life. Talking also involves listening to your child – sometimes even more so. The main thing is to be as open with your kids in both good and bad times and to be supportive of their choices. Like a valued friend or consultant, you will be a person they seek out when they need advice and someone whose opinion they respect instead of reject.
Children love talking to their fathers. Somewhere along the line, many of us give our children the feeling that we don’t want to talk with them, that we don’t have anything in common or that their thoughts aren’t on the same level. As a loving father, you must understand that equality starts from birth and though your child may be younger or different, only loving them enough to talk with them instead of at them will earn you the right to enjoy a close relationship with them later on.
Tip #6 – Be A Good Role Model
Whether you are a good dad, a bad one or don’t even care, you are one of the most influential role models of your child’s life. Children learn from you from day one, and retain many of their parent’s qualities for life, even after years of consciously trying to change them.
As the father of a daughter, I believe it is vital for me to set a good example of how men should treat women. I’ve never been one of those dads that talk about scaring off potential suitors with a shotgun or turning the house into a fortress to keep suitors out and daughters in. I know that if I treat women well, especially their mother, my children will likely expect men to treat them well. If not, there isn’t much more I could have done as a father.
For sons, fathers are the role model for how they treat women, what type of work ethic they have and what type of character they have. If these values are important to you and you show it (not just talk about it), your sons will very likely grow up to respect women, work hard and be viewed as someone with integrity. If not, don’t blame yourself. There is only so much we can teach our children, but by being a good role model, you have done the best you could in teaching yours.
As they say, actions speak louder than words, and your consistent honorable behavior is the loudest you can hope to be. Here you got the answer about how to be a better dad.
Tip #7 – Eat As A Family
Food makes people feel comfortable. When people are comfortable, they talk more. Eating meals with your family will allow you to stay up to date on your children’s lives, share your latest news and generally interact as a family if for only a half or so a day. It’s the one time of day that everyone can stop what they are doing and appreciate the time they have as a family.
I grew up in a home where my brother and I ate in the kitchen and my parents ate in the living room. I’ve always felt that created not only a barrier to our communications with each other but also symbolized where kids stood in the overall family structure. As a believer that my children are for the most part equal to me, I promised I would always find time to spend dinner together with them. It’s a good way to stay attached with my children and set a good example for when they have their own families. Eating dinner together also allows the family to clean up together.
I’ve always felt that cleaning up together set the example to go through good and bad things together as a family and that together; you can clean up any mess. Mealtime also offers a great opportunity for fathers to teach their children about tabletop manners. Last, but definitely not least, eating meals together allows good fathers an opportunity to teach their kids about healthy eating habits, something that just may keep their kids alive for many additional years in their lives.
Tip #8 – Show Affection
Feeling loved is a major part of a happy childhood. All too often, parents rely on an “I love you” to convey their love to their children, but most kids would prefer and even need more to truly feel loved. By showing your children affection, they will know they are loved and wanted.
Giving your children hugs every day can instill confidence in them that will keep them from feeling lonely or alone later in life. Especially when things aren’t perfect at home, hugs have a way of melting the ice and putting things in their proper perspective.
If you aren’t giving your children lots of hugs, start. More than likely, the reason you stopped giving as much affection was that of how you felt, not your child. Children can’t get enough hugs and enjoy them even as they get older, despite what they may tell you. There’s just something comforting about a hug from your parent, especially a dad that makes things feel all right, no matter what age we are.
If you follow all the tips, your relation, affection, and love increase naturally and no need to search answer for how to be a better dad?