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Posts Tagged ‘Great Fathers’

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Qualities Of A Great Father

Fathers come in all shapes, colors, and sizes: step-fathers, adoptive fathers, and uncles, siblings or friends that may play a fatherly role. Though all fathers are different, the qualities that make a great dad are not.  Being a great father is being present, supportive, and loving; it’s being a respected role model, playing the role of a superhero who takes care of  his kids first and, if time allows, saves the world second.

Being Present

A good father makes time to spend with his kids; a great father makes time and actually shares the time with his kids.  Its easy to pull out your calendar and mark a few hours of daddy time, but to be present during daddy time is a different story.  I’ve seen it before, daddy-time consisting of big Papa watching a football game while his little guy stares silently into space.  A great dad shuts off the television and shows his son how to throw a football. A great father asks his son, “What would you like to do?” and plays an imaginary game of alien invaders, while hiding out in the closet. It’s tuning out your email, text messages, and television and allowing yourself to absorb every minute and every moment that makes a difference.

Knowing How To Listen

Kids can go on and on about incoherent things and as little as we care about their adventures in the nether nether world, its our job to listen.  I’ve caught myself nodding and saying “Oh.. Yeah.. Wow.. Uh huh..” a few times in my short parenthood, without the slightest idea of what my little one was talking about.  Kids catch on, they’re much smarter than we assume.  Make it a challenge to respond to your kids’ ramblings by responding with a portion of their message: “Oh yeah, Luke held your hand?” or even better ask for more detail: “So this Luke character, you think he likes you?”

Patience, Patience, Patience

Sometimes, or often times, our kids transform a joyous convo into a disastrous spat. During these stressful times is when we practice our patience. Patience is key to keeping a little spat from transforming into an all out battle for loudest person in the room.  With patience you can make it to school on time before your daughter’s shoe tantrum holds you back for another 10 minutes. It’s hard to believe but a child’s temper tantrum can be cut shorter if you remain calm and collected.

Being Open Minded

Part of being patient is being open minded.  Our kids will disagree with us more than we like, but we have to allow them to have their own opinion. Even if we feel they’re wrong and refuse to listen, they’ll find out sooner or later, so let ignorance take its course.  Unfortunately, sometimes we’ll find that their new found thoughts and beliefs are justifiable and/or correct.  So hold your tongue when appropriate, you don’t want to look like an ass.

Allowing Kids To Make Mistakes

Sure we can try to prepare our kids for everything, but the best lessons are those learned from experience. Allow your kids some flexibility and let them date a scum ball, dip their feet in cold water, and taste their experimental chocolate-tuna-skittle recipe. There’s nothing like actually living it, to teach them unforgettable life lessons.

Practicing Discipline

You’re open minded and allowing your kids to run about freely making mistake after plunder, at some point you have to lay down the law. Although you know your child is acting wrongly,  you have to set your foot down and show him some discipline.  Kids cannot do whatever they wish, we have to set boundaries and if crossed punish them accordingly.  We DO NOT agree with physical punishment or any type of abusive punishment; instead try taking away privileges, adding responsibilities, and/or problem solving (calmly talking over how the child should have done/behaved/reacted). Discipline is educational, look it up: DISCIPLINE; its an opportunity for you to teach them how to obey the rules.

Attending Important Events

They remember; our kids may not remember everything, but they clearly remember some events from their childhood, lest it not be an important event you missed.  It’s important to attend every major milestone in your child’s life, be it her first soccer game, receiving a ribbon of accomplishment, or graduation.  A good father will show up for these events; a great father will be present, attentive and supportive. No matter what happens, say if the girl has the worst game of her life, a great father will support her every misstep of the way.

Always Loving And Respecting Mommy

Here is your opportunity to show them what true love really looks like.  Random hugs, kisses, flirtatious gestures, and sweet compliments, everything you did and do to show your woman you love her, do it and multiply that by 10 (assuming your not the overbearing type). And let’s be honest, love is not always sunshine and rainbows, we often argue with our spouses, its part of marriage, its part of having a healthy relationship and our kids see it, hear it, and even feel it. Physical and verbal abuse is of course out of the question, that should be common sense to you, its the behind the back disrespect that mother may not see that the kids experience.  So treat Mommy with respect and show her lots of affection, your kids will learn from your actions and expect the same from their relationship when they come of age.

Leading By Example

You are the role model: the man your boys hope to become or the man your girls hope to one day marry. A few years back a Supervisor told me, “Do as I say, not as I do.”  I didn’t enjoy hearing those words and thus quit working for him sometime thereafter.  We may want our kids to do as we say but ultimately, they will follow our lead, consciously or unconsciously.  So remember:

  • SHOW them what love looks, sounds, and feels like
  • SHOW them how to take responsibility
  • SHOW them how to behave
  • SHOW them how to work hard
  • SHOW them how to achieve a goal and make something out of themselves.
  • “Do as I do, not as I say.”