After the demise of my father last year, couple of questions started to dawn on me. Such like, was he good father? Was he bad one? How about his availability? Do i want to be the father he was?
In finding answers to these question, i learnt a lot and wants to share with dads what i have learned, in hopes it will help. Please add to the list.
How do we learn about Fatherhood? We all want to be great dads, but chances are, our fathers never sat down with us and taught us how to be one. And we don’t necessarily want to be our fathers. I mean, we want to emulate their positive influence on us, but we also want to do it our own way. No matter who we are, though, we can always improve our relationship with our kids and our spouses, and we can redefine the meaning of fatherhood each and every day.
There’s not as big of a movement toward better “fathering” as there is toward better mothering. No big fancy fatherhood magazines, no Oprah for dads, no real exchange of fatherhood improvement programs, even ’father’s day’ doesn’t get mush publicity like Mother’s Day. But there’s a bunch of great dad blogs out there and more and more fathers who are out in the world setting great examples.
I may have had a crappy dad, but I hope that I’m always learning how to be a better father, so here are some of my thoughts on fatherhood I wanted to share with you.
If you have something to add, I’d love a comment about it.
77 Ways to Be a Better Father
1. Be present with your children.
2. Heap lavish amounts of praise on your kids.
3. Focus on the positive when speaking to your children.
4. Say I love you. A lot.
5. Don’t be afraid to show your emotions to your family.
6. Work on improving your relationship with your wife or partner.
7. Take time out from work for family time.
8. Laugh at yourself. Regularly.
9. Listen to your kids with all of your attention.
10. Learn new things by teaching your children about them.
11. Start a personal journal.
12. Hold your kids accountable for their actions and words, but don’t use punishment to teach.
13. Leave your watch and phone on your desk sometimes.
14. Make a meal for your family.
15. Do something wacky and unpredictable in front of your kids.
16. Spend some time one-on-one with your child.
17. Get moving. Have a fitness plan in place and get your kids to join in.
18. Take more walks, and leave the car at home.
19. Fall in love with your wife. Again.
20. Admit you’re wrong when you are.
21. Forgive your dad for any grudges you hold against him.
22. Teach a new dad what you’ve learned so far.
23. Take time for yourself, so you can bring that sense of fulfillment with you to the family.
24. Remember what you hated to hear from your parents as a kid and vow to be different.
25. Read out loud to your children.
26. Leave your work issues at your job. Don’t dump on your kids because you had a rough day.
27. Drop your change in a jar each day. When full, open a savings account for your child.
28. Once in a while, ask your kids what you can do better. Then do it better.
29. Hugs and kisses are golden. Be generous.
Let your kids make their own choices. Sometimes.
30. Get out in nature with the family.
31. Count to 10 before you react to your children’s actions.
32. Remember that kids mirror our actions, so watch what you say and do around them.
33. Parenting is a shared responsibility. Jump in and do something mom normally does.
34. Learn from your elders—ask them what they’ve learned as fathers.
35. When a child does something not so nice, separate their actions from them in your mind. A child is never bad, even though their actions may be.
36. The next time you feel like giving up on something, do it anyway and use it as a teaching moment.
37. Remember that everyone is somebody’s child.
38. Listen to yourself. Do you sound like your dad? Is that a good thing?
39. Give yourself a break. I haven’t met a father yet who doesn’t make mistakes.
40. Unplug the TV and pretend it’s broken once in a while. Or hide it.
41. Go with your child to school once in a while. 42. Meet the teacher and ask how you can help.
43. Make your health and fitness a priority so you’ll be around for your kids for a long time.
44. Teach the value of service to others by volunteering in your neighborhood, church, or school.
45. Write love notes and leave them for your kids to find.
46. Read a book about fatherhood.
47. Write a book about fatherhood.
48. Make some snacks for the kids as a surprise.
49. Speak as one with your wife, so your kids don’t play you off on one another.
50. Do you say yes all the time? Use no when you mean it, even if they don’t like it.
51. Do you say no all the time? Say yes once in a while.
52. Snuggle with your kids.
53. Show your wife respect always. Make sure your kids do also.
54. Take the time to really explain things to your children. Don’t just say “because I said so.”
55. Ask for help if you need it. Don’t suffer from excess pride.
56. Accept who you are, but don’t settle. Strive to improve yourself every day.
57. Smile at your children and your partner.
58. Make amends when you’re wrong or grumpy or harsh with your kids.
59. Periodically assess your life and change course if needed. Don’t be unhappy just because you think you can’t change.
60. Take a class or learn a new skill with your kids.
61. Act as if you’re the best dad ever.
62. Imagine you’ve only got one week left to live. 63. How would you treat your kids? What’s stopping you from doing that right now?
64. Let your kids see you cry.
65. Explore every park in your town.
66. Once in a while, take a day off and spend it with your family.
67. Find out about your family history and start sharing it with your kids.
68. Give high fives for each tiny accomplishment they make.
69. Get out of debt as quick as you can, and teach your kids about the value of being debt-free.
70. Take a big leap; teach your children about trust, faith, and the virtue of following your dreams.
71. Get down on their level and try to see things as they do. Chances are, you’ve forgotten what it’s like.
72. Learn some really corny kid jokes and use them often.
73. Hold a family meeting and get your kid’s input on important decisions.
74. Don’t just give your kids the answers to questions. Show them how to find the answers.
75. Remember, they’re never too old for piggyback rides.
76. Have patience with your children. Don’t expect them to be perfect.
77. Don’t insist on conformity. Let your kids follow their dreams, not yours.
What have I missed? Please leave a comment with your addition to this list