Being a dad is a wonderful and joyous experience. After all, having the ability to teach, mold, and shape your child is what most parents strive for and take great pleasure in participating in.
I remember my first child as if it were yesterday. One moment she was crawling, and what seemed to be weeks later she was running around the house getting into all sorts of mischief.
Unfortunately, many dads view fatherhood as a major inconvenience as they spend the majority of their time watching television with very little interaction given to their son or daughter.
However, if your goal is to become the best dad out there, I urge you to incorporate these 14 amazing tips on how to be a great dad.
Let’s take a moment and outline these time-tested proven tips on how to be a great dad.
- Seek involvement early
- Never fight or argue in front of them
- Read to them
- Encourage creativity
- Separate friendship from fatherhood
- Act as a role model
- Become their teacher
- Use discipline with positive parenting
- Always look for ways to bond
- Make the tough choices
- Let loose and play
- Do the household chores together
- Teach them how to cook
- Enjoy Time With Your Kids
Through my own trial and error combined with online research, these 14 tips hands down cover what is required to be a great dad.
Although I’m sure you can probably come up with many more – and if you can I encourage you to leave them in the comment section below – let’s take a moment and unpack these specific tips and conclude why they even matter in the first place.
Seek Involvement Early:
If there’s one area severely lacking among us dads are getting involved with our children before they are even born.
I get it, most of us are so consumed with the idea of having a child and being wonderful providers we get overly consumed with what feels like the most important thing:
bringing in the money to support our growing family – and that’s obviously a very good thing.
But do you know that early involvement such as talking to your baby while it’s still in the womb can have a plethora of benefits to the baby?
Yes, it’s true!
According to the researchers, these benefits include things like early voice recognition, emotional security, and bonding.
Remarkably, fetuses are more attentive to lower-pitched noises than higher-pitched ones.
Further, unborn babies can recognize a wide variety of diverse noise, so dads can develop an early relationship with their kids, therefore, also laying the early foundation of a successful pregnancy outcome
Never Fight Or Argue In Front Of Them:
If it’s one thing I wish I could go back in time and change it would be this area. I was 21 and my girlfriend at the time was a few years older, and we were both going to college.
We never could agree on anything, so as a consequence we both argued everything with what seemed like an almost daily basis.
Well, it turns out there are many negative consequences to arguing in front of your children.
As it turns out we were arguing so much that I decided to call it quits for the sake of our sanity, and for the sake of the mental health of our daughter as well.
Read To Them:
If there’s one pastime that promotes bonding while providing a great educational boost it’s spending time together over a good book or two.
Kids love to use and explore their creativity, and while television, video games and other forms of entertainment do that to some degree, nothing surpasses the benefits of reading on the brain.
In fact, reading has such a positive impact on a child’s development that it affects everything from language improvement to social skills and bonding.
And if you really want to increase the learning experience I recommend you ask questions during the story to encourage a more active mind.
If there’s one thing you must not do if your goal is to raise the healthiest, most well-adjusted kids out there, it’s not placing a cap on their creativity.
I’ve seen it happen time and again: parents scolding their sons and daughters for engaging in some annoying activity, while the true intent of the child was to maximize the use of their imagination.
Of course, kids can act very annoying and the natural tendency is to shut them down and scold them for acting too silly.
I’m not saying that, as dads, we should allow them to run amok doing whatever the hell they like, but we must find some sort of balance between child’s play and civility.
After all, creative play has immense benefits that impact a child’s overall developmental trajectory.
Separate Friendship From Fatherhood:
As a father concerned with the health and development of their children, it’s important to establish some important rules and boundaries.
If you treat children as a friend without respect for the natural boundary between parent and child, then you run the risk of being lacking in the discipline department.
We’ve all seen that kid throwing a temper tantrum at the grocery store, or that 4-year-old child who hits and swears at their parents or guardian.
Not only does properly disciplining your children to teach them to respect the right choices in life, but there are many other unconsidered benefits that go with properly correcting your children when they are wrong.
Act As A Role Model:
We all know that someone who prefers to dictate to others while they, in turn, do the exact opposite of what they preach about.
Indeed, they lecture YOU about global warming while they drive around town in their Ukon, and their home uses up 20 times more energy than you; this is typical of Hollywood stars.
Or the smoker who lectures his children about the dangers of cigarette smoke.
As a parent, children see right through this form of hypocrisy, and as they get older many of these same children will call you out on it asking why it’s acceptable for you to do the exact opposite.
As role models, we must act responsibly and live by example if we are to expect our kids to follow the examples we set forth.
Become Their Teacher:
I noticed a disturbing trend over the last couple of decades or so, and that trend is that most parents – not all – rely heavily on educational institutions to teach their children not only academics but other matters like politics and social issues as well.
With all the chaos going on – hectic work schedules, errands and other uncontrollable factors it’s easy to say screw it let the teachers earn their pay.
Truth is, though, no one will ever raise your son or daughter the way you would like them to.
Personally, I don’t want my children indoctrinated with ultra-liberal ideologies, the kind where every kid thinks they deserve a participation trophy, or not deserving to fail a test because it might “hurt their feelings”
If you think your way too busy to raise your children the way they should be raised, initiate some creativity. Use Skype, face chat or any other piece of technology to connect for an hour or so a day
There’s no reason today why you can’t stay connected with your kids if you’re willing to use the right technology.
Use Discipline With Positive Parenting:
There are several methods parents use when taking the time to discipline their children.
I won’t bother getting into the various methods, however, what I will touch on is the one method that really disturbs me the most.
If you’re the type of dad that refuses to communicate with them, prefering to smack the hell out of them for every little thing without even bothering to offer up an explanation then you most certainly are a child abuser.
I’m not against using the rod in extreme cases on the back side, but what I am against is using punishment as a way to kit them in the face or head.
Also, a good dad will take the time to explain what they did wrong and how they should have handled the situation going forward.
How else are they going to learn if you are too lazy or inconsiderate to explain the logic behind their behavior?
If you want your kids to respect you and the mistakes they are being punished for, communication is key.
Always Look For Ways To Bond:
As a great dad, you should always be looking for ways to bond with your children and create lasting memories.
One of my daughters absolutely loves to go shopping with me.
Rather than looking at shopping with her as an inconvenience – because it can be done much quicker by myself – I decide to indulge her and take her along for the journey.
Of course, she wants to ask for practically everything she comes in contact with (like any 6-year-old girl would) I take the time to explain why we can’t go out and buy everything she wants.
That’s not to say that I don’t get her a small treat, but I use judgment on the things I buy her and articulate to her the things that also matter.
It may appear that they are not listening in the least, however, take my word for it kids are like sponges who absorb a lot more than we give them credit for.
Make The Tough Choices:
If there’s one thing that really hinders a child’s growth and maturity it’s a parent that refuses to discipline them.
I’m not quite sure I can pinpoint it to just one reason, however, I do know that many dads I spoke with over the years fear that if they take appropriate action and discipline their children when they misbehave then they run the risk of not being liked.
Indeed, there is some truth to that but a great dad knows and understands the value of short term pain for long term gain.
What exactly do I mean?
To put it another way, yes your children may not like you at the moment (or even a few days or weeks later), but when they are older and when they become well-adjusted adults they will thank you for taking the time to correct them and push them in the direction of success.
Let Loose And Play:
As I mentioned above, bonding with your children is an important step in maintaining their health and happiness if your ultimate purpose is to raise well-adjusted and successful kids.
Unfortunately, many dads take a constant hard-line approach to parenting whereas they build an iron wall between them and their children.
Kids are playful by nature, and one of the ways they mature and learn is through healthy fun – using their imagination to fight dragons, imaginary tea parties, drawing crazy pictures – all serve the purpose of building and strong mind.
That said, why not take a break from life, enjoy time with your children and spend the afternoon at the park?
Not only will your kids reap the rewards of positive parenting, but you’ll also feel great as well.
Do The Household Chores Together:
If there’s one thing kids lack today it’s the unwillingness to participate in household chores.
For some odd reason, the perception that exists today is that kids are fragile and must always be taken care of.
While that’s true for infants, children old enough to walk can be trained to help out around the house.
Of course, you would train them to pick up their own toys and gradually train them how to do the dishes then use the rice cooker until they are able to maintain practically anything in the house except the use of a hot stove (that they can do with a grown-up watching them)
By training them to become independent you will appease their natural instincts to pleas their parents, and they will be grateful that you took the time to teach them at a young age.
Teach Them How To Cook:
As mentioned above, teaching your children to do chores around the house is a great bonding experience while teaching them independence.
A natural extension to chores is cooking.
We live in an ultra-convenient society where people sacrifice quality over convenience, and there’s no better way to point out our food system as the most in-demand way for it to be delivered to us in such a manner.
Men and women both lack the skill to cook a nutritious meal, but hands down men take the cake on this one.
The vast majority of men cannot cook and they rely on their spouse or mom to prepare a meal for them.
And let’s not forget the flourishing fast-food industry that makes billions filling this gap with commercialized food sources charging money for depleted and nutrient-deprived food.
That’s why it’s imperative for us dads to teach them how to cook tasty nutritious meals.
Besides teaching them a valuable skill for life, they will have a blast helping dad out in the kitchen. Trust me, my kids love it!
Enjoy Time With Your Children:
The experiences and the time you develop with your children absolutely flies by quickly, so it’s really important that you take the time to enjoy them while they are young.
Take time out of your busy schedule to hang out with them.
Be a bit rebellious sometimes and call in sick from work on occasion and take them to the movies.
Take the afternoon to play some basketball, or volunteer your time and spend time and volunteer at your local food bank.
Take the time to smell the roses, life is too short for regrets!
Trust me, no dad ever lied on their deathbed wishing they spent more time at the office. In the end, you’ll wish you created more memories with the kids you love.
Being committed to being a great dad is a great responsibility that is not for the average guy.
Being entrusted with the responsibility of raising a child is a great task, and seeing your kids grow up to become amazing adults is nothing short of great.
Hopefully, these 14 amazing tips on how to be a great dad provided some guidance to fathers striving to discover how to become involved, supportive, and loving dads.
Got a story to share? Leave me a comment below. By doing so it will help other readers share the benefits healthy fatherhood!