If you observe them in a room with their wives and children, you would definitely realize that dads are very different from moms. Fathers are more physical and are likely to play more rough such as throwing a baby up into the air to the mother’s horror! That might be the key reason some kids fear being around their fathers in the early stages, other children love it. Studies show that kids learn the sense of humour from their dads, which mostly serves as a defence against difficult emotions in difficult times.
Obviously, every dad is unique. Their style is usually a blend of their strengths and personality – but the good dads have particular traits in common with each other. Good dads work on both sides. Most people believe that mom will make the rules and the dads enforce them. That moms are soft and dads are tough.
Kids need both structure and nurturance – the stern and warmth – but parents are more likely to split up the jobs, instead of doing both.
What makes a good dad and who are they?
Good dads are everywhere. They are the dads who wake up each morning or at night to change the diapers so that the whole family can have several hours to keep sleeping. They are also the dads who arrive home from the seemingly longer day at work eager to play chase with their kids, including when it means postponing dinner for a few hours. Perhaps, you do not have an idea how your wife would get through parenthood without having the support of a reliable partner.
So, what are the qualities of a good dad? The qualities have to do with the craziness of having kids. Overlooking how fortunate you are to have the kids can be easy. Actually, relationships are always the first to be overlooked and at times, they are usually the source of frustrations. People derive emotions from them and start taking everything for granted. No dad is perfect, just as no mom is, but as a dad, you are likely to have some if not all of the qualities of a good dad.
A good dad has to go beyond the family. Most dads struggle with heavier stigma, which says that they are likely to lose their manhood if they nurture their children. Yet the world has dads willing to dress up like Elsa while their daughters dress up like Anna from the movie “Frozen”. One of the good qualities of a good dad involves going beyond the family so that he can help others.
Both parents have to take initiative, such as caring for the children or running the households. A good dad should have the inclination to take initiatives. They should also not give up easily, particularly when working to build stronger relationships with kids.
Maybe you have a job where you travel a lot? An author by the name Harriet Ziefert wrote a book called “When Daddy Travels” that helps young children and families deal with these issues.
Trying something new like soothing the baby or disciplining a teenager is necessary. Moreover, a dad should be grateful for all that their wives do. A small gesture such as a thank you and a hug or a bigger meaningful gift like a break is a better way of showing gratitude.
How to be a good dad to your toddler…
To be a good dad to your toddler, you should start by learning how to bond with her or him. The bonding process does not involve watching sports on TV. In fact, it is difficult to parent your toddler when standing up. You have to maintain an eye level if you want the two-year-old to see you as someone they should listen to and respect, even at that age.
Moreover, you have to listen with both your ears and eyes – just as you do when watching your favourite sports. Even if a toddler doesn’t demand your attention, they still really need it. Start by turning off the television, because you and your toddler’s bond are much more important.
When turning off the television, move away any battery-operated toys. Why would you play with a vehicle that goes “BEEP BEEP” when your toddler could make a similar noise? The devices might be affecting your imagination and that of your toddler.
Put away the smartphone, the tablet, and the personal computer. Get into several wooden blocks with your child or allowing him to play with wooden puzzles. Imagine how much fun you had with a simple stick as a child? That will facilitate more imagination.
Parenting is not just the mother’s job, ensure that the baby knows you as a real participant – not an occasional visitor. Play with her, read with him and bath them. You can feed them, change their diaper and go shopping with them. Be a real parent.
Lastly, volunteer in toddler classes in the local community. Get involved. That way, you will be able to learn more from others – including your spouse, friends and the community. Doing is learning. Therefore, get involved.
How to be a good dad to your son…
If you are solely the drill sergeant, your sons will always see you as rigid, tough and intimidating. However, in your mind, you will be doing what you do because you are more worried and caring. They will just see a person who is always nitpicking, on edge and on their back.
That impression will be imprinted on them, and they are likely to pass it to their kids. Therefore, you should be ready to provide your kids with several dimensional views of their dad and their fatherhood. Be tough to them, nurture them when it is necessary, and help your wife do the same.
To be a better dad, you have to understand your father too – that will help you understand yourself. You would want your sons to believe that you are the best father they will ever have. Therefore, start by moving beyond the single dimensional view of your dad that you most likely carried to your adulthood.
By updating your view of him, you will manage to change how you see yourself and reduce fears of making mistakes similar to his. Put differently, you should start avoiding the “how is your car? How is your work? How is the weather?” kind of talks. Instead, ask your dad about his past struggles, the present fears, and the life-long passions. That way, you will shake up most of your old assumptions and start discovering something new about fatherhood.
Now, after you have learned something about fatherhood, it is time to help your sons understand about the man cave (Not the one in your basement!). Men have a different way of approaching problems. Women process and make sense of problems and emotions by speaking them out. On the other side, men walk into caves and mull for what might be seemingly a long time.
Men will work out all problems in their head and come up with solutions, much to frustrations of their partners. If you are such a person, your sons will not understand what you are doing. Always let your son know what is happening and give him time.
It is very important to lead by example. The best things in life take effort. Want to raise a great son? Then don’t just preach at him, actually follow through and do the things you tell him to do. Want him to take out the garbage? Do it with him for the first month to show how. Don’t want him to smoke cigarettes? Maybe you should quit smoking as well. Want him to workout to make the basketball team? Buy a net and ball and play with him!
The other important thing every good dad should do is start building up positives in their sons. If you have already established the standards that you would want your son to reach, you have to start encouraging him with more positives and praise.
Let him know that you are proud of him –not for scoring more goals in a game but for his personality. Focus on what your father did better and help him solve problems. That way, your son will come out compassionate, proactive and responsible. Without your feedback, the efforts of your son are likely to get lost.
How to be a good dad to your daughter…
As a dad, you have to love your daughters and allow them to enjoy being kids when they can. You should also let your girls believe that they derive their identity from their character, their uniqueness and their physical and intellectual achievements.
As a father you may be concerned about how your daughter might dress and you are unlikely to see fashion moving forward towards modesty. But regardless of your thoughts, you should be involved in addressing the issues with your daughter carefully.
In fact, you should be concerned about more than the outward appearance, the undergarments or the self-image of your daughter. As a dad, you have a huge impact on the self-image. Your daughter will feel pressure to be thin, smart, and involved in various activities. As a dad, you have to combat the pressures and make your girl feel beautiful – both inside and out by boosting her confidence and security.
Never criticize the body shape or the appearance. Instead, affirm her as beautiful, unique and highly valued. Compliment her positive non-physical qualities, including a sense of humour, emotional strength, intelligence, loyalty, and courage. Prove that it is worth investing your energy and time in her and demonstrate confidence in all her abilities.
Conclusion on how to be a good dad…
If you do not know where to start, you should not worry. You have adequate time and room to make mistakes. All kids are forgiving and, therefore, if you are not aware of what you have been doing as a father, you should step down and take stock. If your kids can come to you with problems, can share their emotions and respect your advice, you have been a good dad.