I remember thinking, still do, and possibly might always think that I hope I don’t screw this dad thing. I want to ensure that I lead with my best foot forward every day in helping to raise my daughter. I often seek help from my father and mother as well as friends and family for guidance. As the old saying goes, “it takes a village to raise a child.” It’s my personal goal to strive to be a good dad and may stumble from time to time, but as long as I focus on the why? I should be ok and time will tell. So you may be asking, what can I do to be a good dad? Here are 10 helpful tips I’ve implemented into my life and will continue to improve upon and remind myself of.
Be There as Much as Possible: Life can get pretty busy and hectic and all you want to do when you get home is take a moment to relax. I often feel this way after a long day, however just walking in the door to my daughter smiling and saying “dada, dada” re-energizes me. I can’t help but to pick her up and ask her how her day was and spend some quality time with her. I want to take full advantage of this time I have with her before its too late. I want to say, as time goes by, that I always made it a point to be involved with their life and to be present.
Show Respect for Their Mother: To me this couldn’t be more critical especially with raising a daughter. I treat my wife with absolute respect in the way I treat and interact with her, not just because I want to, but have the responsibility to do so. To be giving in all that you do and showing appreciation as well as gratitude for all that she does. I want my daughter to see what should be expected as she will eventually have relationships of her own. My hope is that she will set high standards for herself, to be confident with herself and not settle for anything less.
Let Them Know They are Loved: I would think that this would go without saying, but tell your child that you love them often. Show them that you care for them by spending the time to listen and talk with them. Let them know that they matter and are truly interested in who they are now and actively guiding them into the future. Have a daddy daughter day and go out and have fun getting to know them.
Give Yourself Permission to be Goofy and Play with Them: My father was a perfect example of this. I believed that over time this helped me to just be myself. I do remember being embarrassed from time to time, but now look back and am grateful for having a father such as him. I now have him to thank for having no worries of being judged for acting goofy with my daughter anywhere or anytime. Outside of that, I can’t wait to take her out golfing or just having her participate in activities that I am interested and vice versa.
Take the Opportunities to Read Them Bedtime Stories: Since the first day we took our daughter home, my wife and I have been reading children’s books to our daughter just before bedtime. I think that this is not only important bonding time, but also a learning opportunity to provide them with the skill of reading. By reading to them consistently it will eventually become a habit for them to read and learn as they grow and to increase confidence in their ability.
Do you read to your child? Check out the top 10 children’s books and have your child pick one out. I bet you may remember a couple of these.