Some think that it is only the responsibility of mothers to raise up the children, while the fathers’ duty is only to provide for their needs. However, this is not true. Dads need to have active participation in the lives of their kids too. This will have a positive impact on them as they grow up.
So, how can you be a good dad? If you are a new father and you are still groping in the dark, here are some effective ways to do it.
1. Be a good provider.
Most families nowadays have both parents working already for better financial security. Regardless of whether your kids’ mother is working or not, make sure that you are doing your part well. Even if your salary is not so big, as long as you are making every effort to meet their needs, surely your kids will appreciate it.
2. Spend time with your children regularly.
Make most of the time that your children are still young. Time will come when they will have lives of their own and you’d miss them around. That is why, no matter how busy you are at work, make time to bond with them. I appreciate one dad I had talked with before who told me he spends thirty-minutes with each of his kids every day.
3. Be available to them.
Whenever your kids invite you to watch their class recital, attend their graduation, or any event they consider special, don’t miss it. Whenever they are sick or simply needing someone to talk to, be available. Your presence is important to make your children feel secure.
4. Set a good example.
If you don’t want your children to acquire vices, like smoking and liquor drinking, then don’t have them too. If you want them to be courteous, hardworking, and disciplined, then be their role model. The best way to teach your kids something is by showing it to them.
5. Be firm with house rules.
If you set house rules, such as a curfew, television watching schedules, and house chores assignments, be firm and consistent with them. Do not give in to whims and excuses (unless valid). Make corresponding consequences for failures to follow these rules. For instance, those who come home beyond the curfew would be grounded for the entire weekend.
6. Be patient with them.
It is normal for children to be annoying at times. Nevertheless, no matter how much they are getting on your nerves, do not lose your patience on them. Never hit them out of anger because that would be physical abuse. Yes, I believe spanking may be used for discipline, but it should not be too hard, must be done reasonably, and should be explained to the kids why they had to get it.
7. Don’t be too tough.
Discipline must be instilled in the family, but I don’t think to be too strict on your kids would help. They may obey you now out of fear, but by the time they get the chance to be free, they would break loose from the rules you had set. A lot of friends I knew who had come from strict families ended up very liberated.
8. Correct their mistakes.
As a parent, it is your responsibility to make sure your children will grow up as upright and good citizens. Therefore, as early as now, do not be complacent in correcting them when they misbehave. For instance, if you hear them cursing, you must immediately address it by explaining why it is bad and warning them of getting punished if you hear it again.
9. Learn to listen to them.
Yes, parents may know better, but to avoid your kids from getting distant from you, learn to listen to their reasons. You may be the head of the family, but your children have their own thoughts. Before grounding or scolding them for something they have done, let them explain themselves first. Then, if their reason is not valid, you may proceed with the consequence.
10. Be supportive of their dreams.
Instead of pushing your children to pursue a career pf your choice, let them follow their passion. Encourage them to take up a college degree or a job after their own heart. This way, they will have a better chance of succeeding in their chosen fields because they are happy with what they do.
11. Allow them to decide for themselves.
As young as they are, teach your kids to be independent and decisive. They should learn to decide on what they want, such as the meal to order or the color of shoes to buy. When they grow up, they will not be easily bossed around by the people surrounding them.
12. Show that you are proud of them.
Your appreciation as a dad is a big deal to your children. Let them know how much you are proud of them. Appreciate them in front of other people and never compare them to other children. These will help boost their self-esteem.
13. Love their mom.
One of the ways to be a good father is by loving and respecting the mother of your kids. With the growing number of broken families in society, your children may have anxiety that your family may break apart too. Protect them from this fear by showing them that your marriage is built on the strong foundation of love.
14. Stand as the spiritual leader of the family.
As the head of the family, one of your primary responsibilities is leading your children to follow the Lord. Set an example of how a godly lifestyle should be lived. Lead them through family devotions and prayer time. Make it a habit of going to the church as a family as well.
It is not easy to be a father, and sometimes, the responsibilities that come with this role become hard to bear. However, for the love of your family, strengthen your will, plan for the future, and with the help of God and your wife, strive to be the best dad that you can be.