Fathers, or father figures, face a set of challenges in family life and raising the kids. While it is common to see a dad portrayed by the media as the less caring, less involved, and less nurturing parent, a father still has a unique role in raising a child. The involvement of a father in the life of his child and his good fathering plays a significant, positive effect for both boys and girls.
Fathers must not underestimate the roles they play in raising their kids. Through their positive involvement, their children can become successful adults. Here are some of the attributes of a father who makes a big difference in their child’s life:
1. They are self-aware
A good father is aware of himself as a man and aware of his responsibilities to his family. He knows his strengths, weaknesses, feelings, moods, and capabilities, and he knows how to handle it. He is responsible for his behavior and shortcomings and doesn’t put the blame on others. He is humble to grown, and he knows and accepts himself. As a father, you can be honest with yourself and reflect on how well you know yourself as a man and as a father. Be aware of the things that make you tick off, and what makes you most tired and annoyed, so you can be careful about how you treat your children during these times. A good father knows that his ability to be with his children is affected by the choices he makes. They can humbly admit that “I didn’t make my child a priority” sometimes, instead of always saying “I’m too busy for my child.”
A self-aware dad is also good at taking care of himself. He eats right, he gets annual physical exams, and he exercises regularly. He knows how to take good care of his health by avoiding unnecessary vices so that he can be with his kids for a longer time. A good dad models for his children and has a respect for himself for being a good example.
2. They think before they comment
This sounds so simple, but how many times have you caught yourself commenting poorly on your child’s actions? There’s a big difference between being brutally honest and being thoughtfully honest. Consider your child’s feelings and the reasons why they do things. Most of the time, they do stuff to seek your approval or to attempt to make you proud – not to hear your philosophical understanding of the issue.
3. They interact with their children on their level
Try to cherish every step of your children’s life. When they were a baby, perhaps you’ve made silly faces to make them laugh, and sang boring nursery rhymes to them to help them sleep. When they grow up to become kids, you must still make time for them to make them happy.
Good dads have tea parties with their daughters and biking lessons with their sons. A real dad stoops down on his kid’s level – he doesn’t just interact with his child if he or she is doing something he is interested in. He reads the same annoying book, and he watches the same old animated movie until he becomes the best friend of his child. He lets his nails get painted or his hair to suffer styling, just to help his daughter have fun. He builds and rebuilds Legos, and makes dinosaur noises with his son. These may be just minor moments in the day for a father, but it can be lasting memories for a child. Bonding with them can help form a lasting trust and comfort between the two of you.
4. They are involved in their children’s lives
A dad who wants to make a difference should know his role in the family. He knows that he must be involved in the life of his children. He knows that his presence will determine the happiness of his child. An active father provides an important foundation for the overall development of his children to keep them secure and stable.
Fatherlessness is a trend in our generation, and it’s not a good one. It leads to more children growing up struggling, miserable, and not excelling at work or school. The absence of fathers is increasingly linked to teenage girls with babies and boys with guns and vices. Also, a large percentage of families with children headed by single moms live below the poverty line.
Since you want to be present in your child’s life (we are assuming that you do because you are reading this article), go ahead and take on your father’s role. Ask yourself, who feeds and dresses the kids? Who watches recitals, sports, and other activities of your children? Who plays with the kids? Who helps with their homework and tucks them in at night? Who attends parent-teacher conferences? Of course, your job and schedule factor into this, but if your answer to all of these daily is the mother, then you need to step up a bit. A good dad knows that he must be showing up in their children’s lives. It must be above any of their professional interests, personal hobbies, and careers.
5. They know how to discipline their children
To make a difference in your child’s development, use your position as a dad to discipline and guide your children. A lot of teens are doing stuff they claim that “If my dad knows this, he’s gonna kill me.” This shows that most kids and teens are scared and threatened by their dad. You can discipline your child without inflicting fear that can harm your relationship. A good dad instructs a child in a calm manner. They know how to lecture their children well and teach them in a manner that the child would respect them. It shouldn’t be done in anger, or because you’ve had a long day and are annoyed at the moment. Times like this may be inevitable, but once you know you’ve hurt your child’s feelings, be humble enough to say you’re sorry. Then, you can reach them on a heart-to-heart level and explain why you have been exasperated with their actions.
6. They are a good example
Children need good role models, and as a father, it is your task to be one. The most important teachers in a child’s life are their parents. If you want your child to turn out the way you want to, be that man. Good fathers model the virtues (for example, compassion, honesty, kindness, loyalty, integrity, respectfulness, and perseverance) that they want to instill in their children. They don’t participate in road rage or online rage when something flips them off. They don’t insult their mom in front of them. They make sure that their words and their lectures match their deeds. These may be obvious, but sometimes, your emotions may run high, and you are not able to think twice about your actions that might be harmful and endangering to your children. This doesn’t mean that you must be perfect all the time. Simply try to find five seconds to refocus and think before you act or say anything. Taking a pause can bring yourself back to the reality of what truly matters.
7. They protect their children
If your child comes to you and says, someone has hurt them or acted inappropriately towards them, be honored. It means your child sees you as his or her protector. Your first comment shouldn’t be telling them that they are probably misunderstanding the action of their offender. They listen first, they ask questions, then they act. A good dad reassures the child that they did nothing wrong and affirms him or her that they did the right thing confiding in you. A real father sees and understands that something happened that made their child uncomfortable and afraid, and he must talk to the offender. Obviously, if your child reports something serious in nature, then you need to take things to a more serious level to ensure their safety.
8. They are encouraging and supportive
Fathers who make a difference respond in a supportive manner when they see that their child is in need. A father can provide the much-needed shoulder and hand for your sons and daughters to reach their goals. A good father must be the source of encouragement and praise for their children, not the other way around. Children respond best to positive and encouraging acts and words. Meanwhile, they react worse to degrading comments and punishments. A child may first find approval from you, to prevent them from seeking attention and approval from other people who may only hurt them in the end.
9. They have a healthy relationship with their wives
Fathers who treat their wives with respect, kindness, honor, and love create a better environment at home than fathers who are distant, estranged, or always bickering with their wives. One of the most important things a father can do for his children is to love their mother. It creates a more comfortable, more stable, more secure, and more emotionally strengthening environment for the home.
10. They stay involved even after divorce or separation
Sometimes, you just won’t work out as a couple. The best thing you can do is to remain active and involved in every facet of your child’s life. Children of divorce have higher rates of misbehavior, tendencies to rebellion, and involvement in illegal activities. You may be divorced with the mother of your kids, but it doesn’t mean it’s the end for your family. As a separated father, you can still have a close and supportive relationship with your kids. Your presence and involvement in their lives can make a big impact on them. You will be glad you kept your divorce amicable.
First of all, you must have a respectful and amicable relationship with your ex-wife. Show your children that even if it is the end between the two of you, you still have respect for her. Discuss what you want to be involved and responsible for your children. Offer to take your kids to events, recitals, and other activities. Try to communicate with your child every day – cellphones and computers make this very easy. Keep up with your child’s interests and take them out from time to time. Always pay for child support. Accept child-care responsibilities, such as helping them with homework or training them in extracurricular activities, taking them to the doctor or the dentist, and helping them with back-to-school shopping. And always keep your promises. Avoid making promises you can’t keep.