RELATIONSHIPS AND FAMILY
HOW TO BE A GREAT DAD | 10 AWESOME TIPS FOR FATHERHOOD
I know there are some MR KOACHMAN readers who are just starting out in their careers as dads, and this post is for you. Here is how you can be a great dad.
Being a great dad is a great responsibility, and a lot of men are not aware of this until they find themselves in the situation and then they start trying to figure it out. But there is hardly anyone born with the skill neither is there a scroll of 10 or more commandments somewhere which contains the tricks or to-do list on how to be a great dad.
What do most men do? Some would abandon the responsibility to the mother of their kids, or to their nanny just because they don’t know how to deal with it.
While many would say to themselves “Let me concentrate on being productive and achieving my set goals for the next few years till they are grown-ups, then I can start giving more time to my kids and try to be a great dad”.
But here’s the thing: It doesn’t work that way at all. There is a huge importance of the “father figure” in your kids lives right from when they are born and it’s your responsibility. You have to be fully involved, even though it isn’t easy when trying to work so hard to make ends meet and to achieve all your set goals which include giving your kids the best of education, getting a new home for them and other things that money can buy.
It is my lifelong goal to be the best dad possible to my kids, and while you think that I’m qualified to write this, I’m still learning and improving like everyone else but I also think I’m doing great already when I sit back and think about it.
Here my top 10 tips on being a great dad (in no particular order). I wish I knew some of these things before I embarked on the fatherhood journey, it would have helped so much. I hope it does for you now that you are reading this.
HOW TO BE A GREAT DAD | HERE ARE 10 AWESOME TIPS
1. Being a good dad starts with being a good husband/partner to the mother of your kids.
Great husbands become great dads. Treat their mom with respect, always. Don’t contradict their mother in front of them. Don’t fight with her in front of them.
Never be abusive toward your spouse, else your child will grow up learning this from you. Your son would learn that it’s the way to go, while your daughter would learn that it’s alright for a man to be abusive towards her. So stay clear of this vice – Always treat your child’s mother with respect at all times.
2. Be a good example to your kids. Put their interests first, always.
Never forget that your child is always watching you. The first lessons your child would learn is what you do and not really what you tell them.
Bad manners, laziness, anger and other bad behaviors can easily be copied by your kids and guess what – it’s not good for them. Don’t tell them it’s important to use their seat belt, whereas you are not using one yourself. If you smoke, drink or engage in other bad habits, your child would take this as appropriate behavior and learn these from you.
Set a good example for your kids with everything you do, by modeling the good behavior you would want them to adopt – that’s how to be a great dad.
3. Don’t be the absent dad. Spend quality time with them as much as you can.
One of the biggest mistakes dads make is not being there for their children especially when they are growing up. The time you have with them is really short and precious (for some 18 years while for some, it’s 21 years) – and it will amaze you how quickly the years will fly. So it’s important we make the most of it.
When we get home from work, often we are tired and just want to relax or sleep. But always, set aside time each day after work and each weekend for your children. Don’t let anything hinder this. Find out about their day, lay on the couch with them etc.
When they have events, make it a point of duty to clear your work schedules and be there for them. It means the world. Even when you are out of town, make it a habit of calling them and speaking with them on a daily basis.
Try to be present as much as possible while you are with them, if you don’t do this, it won’t be long before they’re grown and no longer want to spend time with you.
4. Don’t Be Afraid To Show Affection to Your Kids. Show them love.
This should be a fundamental principle for all dads – Never be afraid to show affection to your kids. Show your children love, always. It’s not just the responsibility of mothers, kids need the attention from their dads as well. Give them hugs, snuggle with them, love them.
When you are upset or having a bad day, show them love rather than yell at them. When they run to meet you on your way back from work, don’t just shove them aside, lift them up and hug them.
5. Read to them, often.
Many parents are guilty of this. It’s important to read kids books to your children every now and then, starting from when they are babies. It’s a great way to bond with your kids and also you are teaching them the importance of reading at a young age, a skill some adults still battle with trying to learn at an old age.
Sit or lie down next to them on the couch or their bed and enjoy each other’s company as you read Children story books to them. It’s fun and they love it.
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6. Play with Them. Show Them Other Ways To Have Fun Other Than Watching TV and Playing Video Games.
This is all part of how you can spend more time with them. Don’t always allow them to spend all day watching TV and playing video games. No. While this is important, you should create more time for other leisure activities such as going outside to play sports with them or having a pillow fight with them, show them other ways to have fun other than watching TV or playing video games.
7. There is nothing like “mom” stuff – share responsibilities.
There are some duties traditionally considered as “mom” stuff – things like changing diapers, feeding, bathing and rocking babies to sleep in the middle of the night.
In my opinion, dads should help out with this stuff as much as they can. It’s never easy for the women and you shouldn’t leave all these responsibilities for her alone – assist as much as you can.
So if you really want to be a great dad, this is a perfect opportunity to bond with your child. I bathe my kids, I feed them, dress them up and I rock them to sleep. You should count it all joy when there is an opportunity to help with these “mom” stuff because that’s how you begin a life-long close relationship with your child.
8. Teach them independence. But also learn to say a firm “NO”.
From when they are little, instill self-confidence in your kids. From when they are kids, allow them to wash their dishes, make their own bed, dress themselves, make their own decisions (within your set boundaries) etc. Teach them that they can do things for themselves, this helps them become independent as they grow older.
While you teach them independence, it’s also important to set boundaries sometimes so they don’t grow up with attitude problems. When they ask for things, you know isn’t right for them, learn to say a firm “NO” and don’t cave in when they start to throw tantrums. Let them understand that your NO is firm and final.
9. Build their Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem. Let Them Be Themselves.
Give your children high self-esteem and build their self-confidence. Show them you value them, you believe in them by spending time listening to them, praising things they do, encouraging them if they fail and teaching them how to be competent.
Allow them to be themselves. Don’t try to mold your children into what you want them to be even if his/her personality doesn’t fit. Give your children the freedom to be who they want to be while guiding them along that line. Embrace his/her personality and natural gifts and talents. Allow them to explore it all and choose who they want to become – that’s how to be a great dad.
10. Be good to yourself. Be good to the mom
Being a great dad requires time and effort, however, you shouldn’t give up your entire life just because you want to be a great dad. You need to take care of yourself and your health, eat healthy, exercise regularly and give yourself some alone time, with your wife or your friends so as to be a great dad when you are back with your kids.
Be good to their mom and make her happy by spending time with her, helping out with chores around the house, give her little surprises and gifts, taking her out to dinner, shopping etc.
Lastly, don’t have more kids than you can actually take care of. Don’t put too much strain on your marriage by having more than the number of kids that would allow you and your wife spend time together – in good health, with less stress so you can live long together as husband and wife and enjoy your grandkids.
ALSO READ: 10 WAYS TO BE A TRUE GENTLEMAN TO YOUR LADY
Being a great dad requires patience, hard work, dedication and time. It’s a life-long duty which every real man should be committed to. Sadly, these days you hear a lot of bad stories on the news how some fathers are never there for their children, how some actually beat their kids to death and how a lot of fathers have totally abandoned their family and ignored the responsibilities of fatherhood.
I hope these 10 awesome tips we’ve shared today would help you become an even more awesome dad than you already are — feel free to refer back to them anytime you need some help.
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Thank you so much for stopping by! Until next time…Have a very stylish day!
Yours in Style,
Kobi O. Mbagwu (Mr. Kobi)
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