Expectations For Fathers Have Increased
The expectations for fathers today have increased both at work and at home. Here’s ten great ways for fathers to be more effective at the most important job they’ll ever have, being a Dad:
1. See your children as smart and capable
The Achilles heel of many fathers is to think their kids as “don’t know enough” or “aren’t capable yet.” Your kids will feel this and they’ll start to see themselves in those ways. The more you opportunity you provide for them to show you what they can do and that you approve of them, the greater they’ll grow be!
2. Make time for your kids
There will always be more work, but you won’t always have the chance to be with your kids. Ask them to help you do chores around the house. Break out a board game or go outside and play catch. Your kids will know if they matter to you by the effort you make to include them in your day.
3. Use positive forms of discipline
Punishment is not very effective as it tends to create more of the very behaviors fathers want to end. Positive discipline methods help kids learn responsibility, punishment helps them learn to dislike you. Give them choices and use natural and logical consequences such as – “If you don’t pick up your toys, one of us might step on them and get hurt. So, either please pick them up and put them away, or, they’ll have go into a bag and be taken away for awhile.”
4. Have a great relationship with your ex-spouse
You’re the main role model for your kids and the main source of information for them about how to have close relationships. Put your ego away and treat your former partner with kindness and respect. Remember, your children are still learning about life and so are watching you very closely to learn how to conduct themselves.
5. Be aware of your kids lives
How much do you really know about your kids? Are you aware of their hopes and dreams? Do you know what inspires them? Do you know their friends names? Do you know what they’re ‘into’? Have you ever bothered to ask them what they like and dislike about you? Kids change by the hour, so pay attention to your children. If there are things you don’t know about your kids, you can always ask!
6. Be nurturing with your children
Hug and kiss your kids and let them hear plenty of “I love you”s. And also don’t forget to play and wrestle with them. Both boys and girls benefit from goofing around and wrestling with their dads. Kids need to see and be part of your “soft” and humorous side, so let the games begin.
7. “Really” listen to your kids
Turn off the TV, put down the newspaper or phone and look your kids in the eye when they talk to you. Be aware of your own tendency to “filter” what your kids say and to tune them out. Be attentive and demonstrate that you heard them. You’re their role, so if you want them to listen to you and others, you’ve got to show them the way.
8. Examine your relationship with your own father
A poor relationship with your own father will affect your ability to be an effective father. Don’t unload your emotional baggage onto your children, or, let your feelings jade their relationship with their grandfather. Ultimately, forgiving your father will go a long way towards allowing you to father to the best of your ability. Show both your father and children how a good man acts.
9. Take care of yourself
It’s difficult to be kind and nurturing to your family if you’re not kind to yourself. Find healthy ways to take the time to relax. Exercise to lower stress levels and improve sleep. Use friends and family for emotional support and mentorship – don’t become an “island” in your family. Your whole family will appreciate and benefit from it.
10. Have a plan for your anger
Men’s testosterone levels can cause difficulty with the overwhelming levels of emotional intensity that families can experience. Far too often this can result in anger, which breeds anger in your kids and creates a vicious cycle. Make a plan with a specific relaxation or redirection technique that helps to defuse your anger. Remember, just one bad angry outburst can affect and impact your kids intensely and for a long time.
As a father, you’re entrusted with raising your children to be good, well rounded people. Always keep in mind that you are their teacher, preacher, protector and hero. And conduct yourself accordingly. Don’t judge your children, love them unconditionally so that they learn to love unconditionally too.