It has often been said that anyone can be a dad, but it takes a real man to be a good father.
Whether your child is yet to be born or whether your about to become a grandfather, there is no time like the present to start being a good Dad. While that may sound easy, what does it really take to be a good dad?
It takes time.
Anything worth doing is going to take time. Taking time for your children is an important way to communicate your love for your child. To a young child, giving time is more important to your child than giving any toy or treat. Even to an older child, your investment of time will reap countless benefits as you seek to build and develop your relationship. As you give time to your child, you also need to communicate, both directly and indirectly, that this is something you want to do. Watching the clock every time you are with your child will not communicate that; listening carefully and throwing yourself wholeheartedly into the child’s life will.
It takes love.
It takes love, real love, to be a good dad. Love isn’t just expressed by what you provide financially for your child, though that is one important way to show love. To love your child, you must show them that they are worth more than other less-important areas and people of your life. To love your child, you must put their needs before your own. As you begin to cultivate this habit, it will soon become the natural thing to do as your love for your child grows. Keep in mind, your child may not always be the most loveable person. You might even have to change a dirty diaper or two… or twenty. You might have to wipe a snotty nose. You might have to show some tough love. But keep loving the child and be consistent.
It takes understanding.
All too often, dads of this day and age fail to listen or observe the needs of a child. Put yourself in the shoes of your child, and consider what he or she may be feeling in the way the you treat him or her, or in the way you brush off a request. Children can sense from an early age whether or not an adult thinks they are important.
It takes patience.
You won’t become a perfect dad overnight, because no one is perfect. But hang in there and keep doing what is right! Being a good dad is a continual process, but it starts now.
It takes honesty.
Kids need to have someone they can trust. Kids need to be able to trust their parents. Do not attempt to command their respect harshly; command their respect by being the good dad they can trust. If you mess up, you can fess up. This doesn’t mean you have to share every detail of your life with your child, but it does mean you need to tell them the truth when the option to do otherwise is presented.
It takes money.
Being a good dad will cost you, but it will be worth it in the long run. While it will cost you in other areas too, it will also cost you financially. Learn to manage your money well, and teach your children to do the same. Using money to be a good dad doesn’t mean you go out and throw away all your money buying them toys and candy; it means using your money to provide the best opportunities for your child’s specific needs.
Being a good dad isn’t always easy, but it is a long-term investment well worth your effort. Being a good dad in this day and age is more important than ever. Men who have kids are not hard to find, but good dads are. It’s a job that takes a few good men. Start being one today.