Top Ten Ways To Be A Better Father

The expectations for fathers are increasing bothat work and at home. Here are ten ways for fathersto be more effective in the most important jobthey’ll ever have:1.See your kids as capableThe achilles heel of many fathers is to see theirkids as “not good enough.” Your kids will feel this, and they’ll live up to these expectations. The more you approve of them, the greater they’ll be!2.Make time for your kidsThere will always be more work, but you won’t always have the chance to be with your kids. Are there ways to include them in chores around the house? Your kids will know if they matter to you by the effort you make to include them in your day.3.Use positive forms of disciplinePunishment is not very effective. It tends to create more of the very behavior that fathers are seeking to eliminate. Use natural and logical consequences instead—if you don’t pick up your toys, they get put in a bag and taken away for awhile. Give them choices. Positive discipline methods help kids learn responsibility, punishment helps them learn to dislike you.4.Have a great relationship with you wifeYou are the main role model for your kids, and this is the main source of information for them about how to have a close relationship. They’re watching very closely to learn how to do it.5.Be aware of your kids livesHow much do you really know about your kids? Are you aware of their hopes and dreams? Do you know what inspires them? Do you know their friends names? What they like and dislike about you? If there are things you don’t know about your kids, you can always ask!6.Be nurturing with your kidsHug and kiss your kids, and let them hear plenty of “I love you’s.” And also don’t forget to wrestle with them. Both boys and girls benefit from wrestling with their dads. Kids need to see your “soft” side, so showit to them frequently.7.“Really” listen to your kidsPut down the newspaper and look your kids in the eye when they talk to you. Be aware of your own tendency to “filter” what your kids say. Reflect back what youheard from them. If you want them to listen to you, you’ve got to show them the way.8.Examine your relationship with your own fatherA poor relationship with your own father will affect your ability to be an effective father. Are there things you want to say to your father? Ultimately, forgiving your father will go a long way towards allowing you to father to the best of your ability.9.Take care of yourselfIt’s difficult to be kind and nurturing to your family if you’re not kind to yourself. Find ways to take thetime to relax, exercise, and keep your stress levels lower. And use friends and family to support you—don’tbecome an “island” in your family. Your family will appreciate it.10.Have a plan for your angerMen can have a difficult time with the overwhelming emotional intensity that families can experience. The result is often anger, which breeds anger in your kids and creates a vicious cycle. Make a plan with a specific relaxation technique that helps to defuseyour anger. Remember that one bad episode can impact your kids for a long time.

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