CTF's Fatherhood Initiative's Ten Tips for being a Great Dad
1. Respect your child’s mother.
If you are married, keep your marriage strong and vital. If you aren’t married, it is still important to respect and support the mother of your children.
2. Spend time with your children.
How a father spends his time tells his children what’s important to him. By sharing time with your children, you tell them they are important to you.
3. Earn the right to be heard.
Too often a father only speaks to his children when they have done something wrong. Begin talking with your kids when they are young, praise them and take time to listen to their ideas and problems.
4. Discipline with love.
All children need guidance and discipline, not as punishment, but to set reasonable limits. Remind your children of the consequences of their actions and provide meaningful rewards for good behavior.
5. Read to your children.
Begin reading to your children when they are very young. Instilling your children with a love for reading is one of the best ways to ensure they will have a lifetime of personal and career growth.
6. Show affection.
Children need the security that comes from knowing they are wanted and loved by their family. Parents, especially fathers, need to feel comfortable and willing to hug their children. Showing affection every day is the best way to let your children know that you love them.
7. Eat together as a family.
Sharing a meal together can be an important part of family life. It gives kids the chance to talk about what they are doing and is a good time for fathers to listen and give advice.
8. Be a teacher and a role model.
A father will see his children make good choices because he has taught them about right and wrong and encouraged them to do their best. By demonstrating honesty, humility and responsibility, fathers can show their children what is important in life. A daughter who grows up with a loving father learns that she deserves to be treated with respect.
9. Realize that a father’s job is never done.
Even after children are grown and leave the home, they will still look to their fathers for wisdom and advice. Fathers continue to play an essential part in the lives of their children as they make decisions about education, jobs, marriage and starting their own families.
10. Reach out to other parents for support.
Discuss parenting with other parents - both moms and dads. Share ideas, solve problems, find out what other parents are doing to tackle issues of discipline, safety, and communication. Get to know the parents of your kid's friends. Consider joining or starting a dads' group in your area. You can learn a lot, find support and camaraderie and enjoy parenting more when you are friends with other parents.