The art of parenting is significantly evolving with the family changes happening in the current society. These changes have given men more options to respond to obligations as fathers. Family changes that people have experienced over the past few years include; remarriages, women taking up white=collar jobs, and divorce rates have caused a shift in paternal roles.
In the present complex society, a father is not likely to rely on his childhood encounters to treat and handle their kids. An encouraging and warm=hearted father tends to have children with high self=esteem and promote competence in them.
Who is a Good Father?
As a good father, you use tough love on your children to prove a point. Love your children unconditionally but do not let them get away with their wrongdoing.
However, do not always be harsh on them when they make a mistake. Understand that they are human and making mistakes is part of learning and growing.
How to Be a Good Father
Spend time with your children
To provide for your household, you may be having a physically and mentally draining job that requires you to work from early morning to late evening. When you get back home, you need rest and a healthy sleep plan to recharge and refresh your body and mind.
Your partner may be a stay=at=home mom, and therefore you assume that she can handle the children’s issues by herself. The children need your attention, love, and care as much as they need their mother’s. Hence, try to take time out of your busy routine and spend it with your children.
While at it, do not always dismiss or discredit them as that may have a lasting negative emotional impact on them. The following are the advantages of spending time with your child:
You will have a better knowledge of their abilities and challenges.
For you to know your children’s abilities, you will need to spend more time with them. When you spend more time with your children, you will be more accustomed to their growth and developmental progress.
This way, you will assess their capabilities, emotions, feelings and get to know their talents and skills. Therefore, you will have an opportunity to give adequate stimulating or challenging opinions to them.
Spending time with your children will help you not underestimate or overestimate their competencies. Doing so may prove to be unpleasant and frustrating to your children and demotivate them from interacting and opening up to you in the future.
Just like any other grown=up person, children also go through different challenges as they grow up. It would help to spend more time with your children to strengthen family ties. Ensure that the children get emotional attention, love, and discipline from you to make it easy for them to open up about their challenges.
It will boost your self=confidence.
Fathering does not come naturally; it needs time and graduals learning. Spending time with your child right from infancy and watch them grow will give you confidence that you can handle fatherhood. With time, you become more skilled at it and gain self=regard.
To prevent them from experiencing childhood problems.
Having a close=knit relationship with your children gives them a great chance to have self=acceptance. This relationship will help them counter any rejection or pain from their peers.
You are one of the people that your children love and respect most. Enhance your children’s self=esteem and spend time with them playing; from making silly faces, taking a walk, and to teach them sporty activities. When you offer your close attentiveness, it sends an important message to them. They feel important and loved.
Stable self=esteem is one of the most valuable virtues of psychological wellbeing. Instilling it in your children right from a young age will give you the pride to know that you have a hand in their self=awareness.
Be a role model to your kids.
A role model is a person with character, success, or behavior that young people can imitate. Children may have so many role models who will shape how they behave and relate with other people at both school and home. However, you and your partner are their most incredible role models, and that is the most powerful tool you have to influence your children’s behavior.
Traits of a good role model
As your children’s role model, learn to portray your achievements, knowledge, and skills without being arrogant. Take pride in what you have achieved throughout your lifetime, however small it may be. Your children will learn to project their achievements without any fear of reprimand.
Treat people modestly as this will teach your children how to relate with people without looking down on them. Teach your children to listen and put other people before themselves. This way, your children will be willing to learn from other people and instill a feeling of appreciation.
To be influential to your children, be respectful to others. People appreciate selfless and non=prejudiced treatment from their role models. The first things a child learns are how to talk and act. To be a good role model to your children, speak and treat people with respect regardless of their class or age.
Your child will learn how to address people from you and do it exactly how they see you doing it. It will leave a lasting opinion in your children on how to behave. Most people learn more from actions than words, and so do children.
High moral values
Demonstrate your principles of differentiating between what is right or wrong in your behaviors. Always support worthwhile courses and act on your beliefs to help your children develop their moral values. As a good role model, make sound and informed decisions about different things that your children should learn. These include; dress code, food, studying, and exercising.
Your children will emulate most of your behaviors. Ensure you positively influence your children to become people you would admire when they are grown=ups.
Demonstrate your total commitment towards achieving your desired goals. Invest the necessary resources, time, and effort and persevere when met by any hurdles. Your passion for succeeding will inspire your children to reach for their goals regardless of the challenges they may face along the way.
Remain confident, hopeful, and optimistic about the unseen future. It would be best if you made your children see the bright and cheerful side of any situation. Being a father, your children see you as a superhero in life, so try to create solutions to any rising challenge.
Sometimes negative role models may influence your children. Children look up to some public figures and celebrities, yet their behaviors are not worth emulating. As a father, you need to intervene and emphasize that those inappropriate behaviors are unacceptable. Please work with your children and help them to identify positive role models.
Respect your children’ mother
It is essential to have reciprocated respect in marriage, as it is a sign of support, trust, and appreciation. Be respectful and offer your support to your partner. Your daughters will grow up knowing that men ought to respect women, and your son will respect women.
When they grow older and get into relationships, they will uphold that virtue of respect they grew up seeing. If you treat her with disrespect, the children will grow up with emotional insecurities about women.
Be involved in your children’s life.
At times, you feel like you are second best on matters of parenting. Some stereotypes depict you as an incompetent, secondary, and emotionally disconnected parent who is not as crucial to their children as their mothers are. This is a wrong presumption that can pressure you to take a backseat in the involvement of your children’s upbringing.
Although a mother’s love is crucial in the children’s lives, their father’s presence and involvement are equally important in their development. Be an involved father to promote your children’s cognitive growth and development. Early involvement in your children’s lives will finally breed more attachment that is serious. It will boost their strength and social development as well as instill self=confidence in them.
You play a crucial role in your children’s lives that nobody can fill. Your children are more likely to become school dropouts or end up in jail if you become an absentee father. With you present, they are less likely to get involved in high=risk behaviors.
According to Paul Amato, a sociologist studying Child=Parent Relationships at Pennsylvania State University, “When fathers are actively involved with their children, they do better. Research suggests that you are important for a child’s development.”
Live with your kids and take the time out of your busy schedule to attend their important events. It will have a remarkable impact on them. When, for some unavoidable circumstance, you are not in physical proximity, use other options such as phone calls to be involved in their lives.
Your Duties and Responsibilities
Be their teacher
According to British philosopher John Locke, a child’s brain at birth is a tabula rasa, a Latin phrase that means “clean slate.” Children are born knowing nothing. Therefore, it is your responsibility to teach them virtues and values you would want them to embrace as they grow.
The mother will mostly provide emotional support to the children while you are the disciplinarian, the stern figure who will teach them how to be responsible and discern good from the bad.
Train your children to obey rules, regulations, and observe a set code of conduct using punishment to amend misbehavior. Disciplining your children has its merits. However, please do not be too harsh on the children to find you unapproachable if they face a problem when administering it.
Your children may not respond well to constant reprimanding over mistakes they have committed. Learn to relax and loosen up when they do a wrong thing and correct them without necessarily having any punishment meted upon them. Nothing good will come from you being a total authoritarian father.
Provide for the family
From time immemorial, providing for the family has always been the role of the father. In the 21st century, though, the gender roles have been varying, and mothers have taken up providing for the family. In the current unforgiving economy, try to put your best foot forward to be a financially responsible father.
Ensure you have a grip of your family as its head by providing the family’s essential needs. Apart from financial providence, your family looks up to you to provide them a sense of security and protection.
Keep your relationships unconnected.
Please do not go out having an extramarital affair and cheating on your significant other and say you read it here. Of course, that is not what I mean. I am talking about you not letting the arguments and disagreements that you may have with your spouse affect your children in any way.
If you separate or get a divorce from your partner, do not allow your differences to cause the children devastation or trauma. Always be part of their lives and shower them the love and care they deserve no matter what.
Maintain a healthy union with your spouse
A healthy marriage is the foundation of a happy family. In any marriage, disagreements and arguments are inevitable. However, always try to find a way of solving the issues without affecting the children. It takes two to tango. The responsibility of having a healthy union is no solely yours. You and your partner should have a joint effort to make your marriage work.
A childhood friend of mine was raised in a broken family. The parents would get drunk and fight in the full glare of the children. Growing up in this kind of environment affected her social life and view of relationships. In her early thirties, she is still unmarried and has no kid.
Communicate with your children
As discussed earlier in this article, spending quality time with your children enables you to learn so much about them. Allow them to express themselves in your presence. If you cannot do something for them or spend time with them due to obligations such as your job, health issues, financial constraints, let them know about it. When you are not physically with them, strive to keep in touch with them, at least via phone calls.
Dealing with Stubborn Children
Every parent’s dream is to have manageable and contented children. Some children, though, can be very stubborn and unpredictably tricky to handle. Dealing with these children can prove challenging, as they may not want to do even the most essential things like shower. Their behaviors can be very upsetting and confusing to you. Stand your ground and do not give in to their tantrums and actions, which will encourage them.
Characteristics of a stubborn child
Impatient> this is when every little thing irritates or agitates your child.
Bossiness> this is when your child enjoys telling people what to do and how to do it.
Always arguing> your child can be disagreeing with almost all the set rules and regulations of your house. He or she will try to cite reasons why your views are wrong while theirs are right.
Feeling entitled> your child will believe that they deserves some privileges. They will have annoying expectations from you.
Angry outburst> your child will have sudden violent and aggressive reactions that are entirely out of proportion.
Refusing to comply> your child will refuse to act as per the specified standards.
How to deal with a stubborn child
You will require extra effort, patience, and understanding to know your child’s behavior and deal with it.
Understand their perspective
Try to think of the situation from your child’s point of view to understand them better. Try to find out why your child would be behaving in such a manner.
Doing this will help you know how best to handle them. Understand their frustrations and anger and sympathize with them but do not give in to their demands. Offer them your support while you stand firm.
Reinforce positive behavior
There will be moments when your child’s stubborn, aggressive and angry attitudes will annoy you but try not to overreact, as that will make the situation worse.
It is better to negotiate with your child and find out how they would love to do things. Ask them questions such as what they want and what is bothering them. You do not need to give in to all their demands, but you can be more practical, accommodating, and considerate. It will help in reducing their rebellious behavior.
Listen to your child.
For your child to listen to you, set an example by first listening to them. Communication involves two parties: in this case, you and your child. By allowing them to air their views and concerns, you will reduce their defiance.
Do not force your child into anything.
Your child will tend to rebel if they feel that you are coercing them into doing something they do not want. Connect with your child if you want them to cooperate with you and not show a counter will behavior. To connect with your child, hug them today.
Yelling or always punishing your defiant child will only make them more aggressive. Sit them down and have a sincere discussion that you will steer to a practical conclusion. Use mild language to make them understand that their stubborn behavior does not do them any good. You can even listen to calm music together with them.
Give your child choices.
Defiant children have a mind of their own. Most of the time, they do not like to be told what to do. Allow them to make those choices you feel are for his good.
Work with them
If you force any authority onto your child, they may not welcome it. Please do not force them to adhere to your orders; instead, seek their cooperation. Be careful of the language and tone you use on them, as they may be very sensitive. Get them to trust you by spending more time together and engaging in fun activities.
Create a peaceful home
Your child will learn from what they see around them. If you and your partner are arguing and quarreling now and then, the child will imitate that. An environment without peace and harmony can cause your child’s behavior and lead to social withdrawal or aggression.
Habits You Should Avoid
You should know that your responsibility does not end when your partner conceives. It is instead the beginning of your fatherhood journey and responsibilities. The endurance to raise a child makes you a real man and not the ability to create one. As a responsible father, you should carry out your duties with diligence and avoid the following:
Do not unfairly criticize your children.
Do not belittle your children and pick holes in everything that they do. Negative criticisms will lower your child’s self=esteem.
Do not spank your children.
Using violence to discipline your children shows a very high level of irresponsibility. Meting violence on your children will teach them that being hostile is the best way to deal with discord.
Do not set bad examples.
How many times have you told your children what not to do, yet you do the same thing? Your children follow what you do more than what you say.
Do not let a fallout with your partner affect them.
A conflict in your marriage should not make you resent your children. Let your previous principles govern how you treat your children n matter what.
Do not be permissive.
When you are allowing your children to do whatever they want, it is spoiling them. The real world out here is full of hurdles and rules.
Do not be an authoritarian
Imposing harsh rules on your children violently may lead them into being rebellious. Be firm but give your children a chance to grow in a loving and happy environment.
Being a father is very rewarding since you trust being responsible for taking care of your children and seeing them grow and develop steadily from toddlers to adulthood. Motivate you children to meet their full capability. However, do not set unreasonable goals for them or push them into achieving the goals you set for yourself but was not able to achieve them by yourself.