In fatherhood, you do not exactly need to be great; you simply need to be a good father. But what does it really take to be a good father?
Remember to love your children but never condone their wrong doings. Be firm and ready to use tough love to prove a point. Use your words properly and without contempt, valuable lessons may be lost if you muddle it up with negative emotions. Do not reward your children for doing things that are expected of them. Simply make them feel appreciated in helping around the house and performing well in school. Make it known that even children are valuable assets in building a home.
Teach them early on that making mistakes are part of life and learning. Splurging, getting into minor accidents, getting drunk and sick for the first time, even getting acquainted and spending some time with questionable people are valid experiences that you ought to recognize. However, be clear that recurring irresponsibility is not acceptable. Fatherhood is not about protecting them from every danger, it is about cultivating their own strength to help them learn to choose their own battles and protect themselves.
Be open-minded. You should understand that times, people and tastes change over the years. Allow your children to move with the times and not be stuck in his past.
Teach your children to appreciate things and do not let them take what they have for granted. Make them see the value in everything, from the food on the table to the good education that you are paying for. Educate them in earning the things that they dream of and not to excessively rely on parents.
Accept that your kids are not exactly like you. Do not expect them live the same life you have, and do the same kind of work. Respect their values and opinions, as long as they morally good. Do not force them to fulfill a dream you envisioned for them, instead guide them to develop their own dreams to fulfill. Cultivate them not to be a better version of yourself but to be the best version of them.
Spend quality time with your children. Your time and presence are more valuable than gifts or money. You may take them out to games, movies, attend important performances. Sometimes you may have an easy chat with them but more importantly listen to what they have to say.
Lead by example and ease you children’s heart of the turmoil of choosing what to follow between your words and your actions. Fathers are not just overseers that constantly command their children on what to do. Teach them to deal with disagreement with a family member and with others by being firm but reasonable. Show the importance of affection by demonstrating your love for their mother in front of them. Never fight in their presence. Live by the values you want your children to follow.
Always give it your best in protecting your family. Be a good provided, take a second job if needed. It is okay to lose some sleep or well needed rest at times. This is how you can instill the importance of personal sacrifice.
Do remember this, as a father, how you respond to your child, how you support or demean, how you applaud or disapprove of them, how you love or withhold, all of these things has a lasting impact on your child.
“The quality of a father can be seen in the goals, dreams and aspirations he sets not only for himself, but for his family.”
– Reed Markham