For many years, men were more commonly known to be the protectors and financial providers for their families. But in our changing world, this is becoming less prevalent, as more fathers are filling the role of homemaker while their significant others go off to work.
As a father, whether you are out at work during the day or a stay-at-home dad, you will always have many responsibilities to your children.
While boys and girls learn differently and have differing needs, here are five key things that every child needs from their father.
1. Quality time
It’s easy to turn on the television and watch a movie or show with your child. Instead, take the time to teach him/her something new or take them out on an adventure. There is a great big world out there waiting for kids to explore and experience.
If you don’t feel like going out, find something fun and interactive to do in your home. Build a fort, play a board game, or work on an art project together. Even playing an interactive video game together is better than just sitting and watching TV.
This quality time is one of the best ways to show love for your children.
2. Unconditional love
Love should be a no-brainer when it comes to your kids. More specifically though, children need to feel that your love for them is unconditional.
There will be times, as your child grows, that they will make mistakes or do things you don’t agree with. As their father, it will be vital to show them unconditional love and support in these situations, even if you don’t condone these choices.
This does not mean you can’t take advantage of teaching opportunities or share your opinion regarding their choices (see number 5). It simply means allowing them to make their own decisions and loving them for who they are.
Along with showing your children unconditional love, it is also important for you to show that same love for their mother.
3. To see you love/respect their mother
One day your son or daughter will find the love of their life. When that day comes, you will want to make sure they have had a good example of how to treat their significant other.
For sons, this will be vital, so they know how to properly treat women and show them the respect they deserve. For daughters it will be a matter of seeing how women should be treated, so they end up with someone who treats them with love and respect.
This respect should also be extended to the other people you associate with.
4. Respect others
Children are constantly watching their parents, all the while learning what to do and what not do. The way you interact with your peers, family, and friends will be a guidebook for how they treat people in the future.
Because of this, it is essential to be courteous and kind in your day-to-day relations. This will help your children learn to respect others and be more communicative.
This level of respect translates into the way you decide to discipline your children.
5. Loving discipline
Discipline is often associated with words like punishment and chastisement. However, discipline doesn’t need to have this negative stigma attached to it. The phrase “loving discipline” may sound like an oxymoron, but can pay major dividends when used in teaching your children the difference between right and wrong.
This is sometimes also referred to as loving guidance. It involves you, as a parent, regulating your own emotions, strengthening your connection with your child, and showing that same unconditional love when helping them learn.
Learning to properly discipline your children will help you be a more effective parent and will also help them know how to treat themselves when they do something wrong.
As you make an exerted effort to spend more quality time with your kids, show them unconditional love, respect their mother and others around you, while also making a point to lovingly discipline them, you will find the bond you have will grow stronger on a daily basis.
It is fair to say there is more to being a good father than these five simple topics. However, starting with these few key steps will set you on a path to being the father you want to be and your children need you to be.
Logan Derrick is a husband to a beautiful, talented wife, and a father to a handsome little boy. Having grown up without a father for most of his childhood, Logan has looked to others and their examples to learn how to be a good dad. This short list comes directly from what he learned watching these men and has helped him be a better father to his own son.