Nobody said being a good father was easy. No matter what age your child is or how many children you have, you have to know that a father’s work is never done. To be a good father, you have to be present, be a good disciplinarian and role model, and be sympathetic to your children’s needs without being a pushover. If you want to know how to be a good father, just follow these steps.
1/4. Be Present
1. Make time for your kids
Your children don’t care if you’ve just had a big promotion at your company or whether or not you own the most expensive house on the block. What they do care about is whether or not you’ll be home time for dinner, if you’ll take them to the baseball game on Sunday, and if you’ll be around for movie night that week. If you want to be a good father, then you have to set aside time every day for your children — or at least every week — no matter how busy you are.
- Plug this time into your schedule. Maybe your best nights for your children are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Take the time to put in extra care during those days, and don’t let other commitments get in the way.
- If you have more than one child, then you should make time to see each child individually, so your unique relationships can develop.
- If you’re so tired that you can’t possibly make yourself get up to basketball with your son, do something else with him instead, like watching a basketball game or a basketball-themed movie. It’s important that you’re there in some capacity.
2. Be there for the milestones
Though planning “daddy time” for your kids each week is a great way to strengthen your relationship, you should also try to be there for important milestones in their lives. Arrange your work schedule so that you can be there for your son’s first day of school, your daughter’s first ballet recital, or your son or daughter’s high school graduation.
- Your children will remember these moments for the rest of their lives, and having you be there will mean a lot.
- You may be very busy when one of your kids is about to hit a milestone, but if you miss out, you’ll regret it later on.
3. Teach your children the important lessons
You should also be present to teach your children how to complete the basic tasks of life. You can help your son use the bathroom, teach your children to brush their teeth properly, help them learn how to ride a bike, and teach them to drive when the time comes. You can also teach your sons how to shave and maintain good hygiene. Your kids will need you to learn the big life lessons as well as the small everyday tasks.
- Split these lessons with your wife. You should both teach your children the important things they need to know to grow up.
- Help your children learn from their mistakes. If they’ve done something wrong, you should help them see why and talk about how to avoid the behavior in the future instead of simply punishing them and moving on.
4. Develop strong communication
Being present for the important moments in your children’s lives is very important, and so is being able to communicate with your children when you’re there. You don’t always have to do something exciting with your kids for them to enjoy hanging out with you — you just have to focus on being able to communicate with them, to understand their concerns and struggles.
- Make sure to check in with your kids every day, so that you know what their worried about, what they have coming in that week, and what’s on their minds.
- Don’t just superficially ask, “How was your day?” without really wanting to know the answer.
- If your children are teenagers or busy college students, then they may not want to discuss the details of their days with you. Just make sure to check in often enough that they know you care without feeling smothered.
5. Plan trips with your kids
To be a good father, you should take the time to go trips with your kids — with or without their mother. You can take a yearly fishing trip with your boys, a trip to the beach with your daughter, or even a camping trip that your kids will never forget. Whatever you do, try to make it special, memorable, and something that can be repeated at least once a year so that you’ve developed a fun daddy-centric routine.
- If the children’s mother is present during the trips, take some time to bond solo with your kids when you can.
- Planning these trips a few months in advance will give your kids something fun and different to look forward to.
6. Make time for yourself
Though it’s important to be there for your kids, you should try to get some “me time” when you can, whether it’s spending Sunday afternoon doing your own thing, or taking half an hour to run every morning or winding down with a good book every night before bed. You should put your kids’ interests before your own most of the time, but don’t completely neglect yourself, either.
- If you don’t make time for yourself, you won’t be able to relax, recharge your batteries, and give your kids the time and attention they deserve.
- You can have a special room or chair in the house where your kids know that you should not be disturbed. Help them get used to the idea of “me time” and explain that you’re going to be doing your own thing for a little while — unless they really need you.