Part II of being a good dad (miss part I?) I will discuss the other aspects I find helpful through the more “life skill” parts of being a dad. These include doing chores, teaching the value of money, setting a good example, independence and taking time for yourself. All of which I would hope my daughter will pick up on and continue to be influenced by in her life. I was fortunate to have had these lessons taught to me and feel obligated to pass them along.
Do Your Part Around the Home: There’s the traditional mowing of the lawn, fixing things around the house and other such projects, but more importantly is doing all the other things that you may not think of and should. Take pride and ownership of the fact you change the diapers, feed them, bathe them, and comfort them as it isn’t solely the mother’s responsibility. For those of you who don’t know, changing diapers becomes old hat pretty quickly and isn’t that bad.
Teach Them the Value of the Dollar: As I previously discussed in my blog “Teaching Your Toddler about Money,” teach them the value of money and to provide them with a guide to good habits in order for them to grow up to be financially responsible. There are numerous other ways to teach your child finance as well and can even create a fun project to do together as a family. As they get older task them with goals they want to achieve, either it saving some for college or purchasing something they want.
Be a Good Example: You can’t expect them to do something that you yourself aren’t also doing. Be respectful and courteous to others, make sure you say please and thank you, work hard, watch what you say, and really just be a good role model for them to emulate as they grow. Instill in them the values that you would like them to know and to always put family first. Teach them that there is “nothing wrong with failure unless you allow it to win.” Encourage them to take calculated risks and to learn from their experiences. Behave in a manner that is to be expected and can be proud of as it will most likely be ingrained in who they may become.
Raise Them to Be Independent: Allow your child to just be themselves and let their personalities shine. Over time they will gain confidence in everything they do and their overall outlook on life. Encourage them to figure things out on their own and help only when they request it, and sometimes even then, don’t. Teach them to appreciate the sometimes painful struggle in learning to do something new or challenging. Let them make their own choices and slowly let go as they get older.
Take Time for Yourself: Finally, sometimes just getting away for some alone time or going out for a game of golf with your friends is needed to recharge and get back to being a good dad. It’s important for your health and mental well-being to do things on your own, to maintain your independence. Same goes for your spouse, do your part and give them some time to do the same. My mother is very wise, as she is always asking if I’ve taken my wife out on a date. Having alone time together as a couple is also very important to maintain your relationship and to be able to spend time without distractions away from the kid/s. It’s not always easy to accomplish this, but one way or the other you’ll figure this out because it’s necessary.
What have you done with just your spouse lately? Plan a date night and go have some fun together. If you’re from #reno, I recommend Wild River Grille, especially if you need the brownie points.