We all like a short list, right? We have noticed a lot of your comments about your learning from your dads how not to be a father. That’s a really hard lesson to learn firsthand, and we are sorry you had to go through that. The reality is… it’s not that hard to be a good dad on paper, but it is hard in practice. It means you are selflessly providing for your family day in and day out, and boy does that take a toll on the guy whose whole world used to be so simple. When you have kids and a family, your life takes on big-picture problems that don’t have super simple answers, so we’re here to try and narrow it down to just a few things you can do to be a better dad today.
What Makes A Good Dad?
Take care of yourself: This is the most important part of what makes a good father. Your family is looking to you for love, support, protection, and security. You have to feel those things within yourself before you can provide them to others. Whether this means asking for some alone time from your spouse (note: we said some alone time, don’t overdo it), having a daily exercise routine, or even therapy, you have to put the work in on the inside to make sure it’s reflected in your family as well.
Be prepared: While there is no way to plan for everything kids can throw our way, it’s important to try! If you fail to plan, you plan to fail every single time. You know your kids and family better than anyone, and you know how to plan for their needs. Look ahead for planned outings. Are they happening during snack time? Pack up a lunch bag full of snacks. The hardest things to plan for are the emergencies you could never expect. For those, don’t forget to keep your medical supply kit in your car or backpack and ever get caught without a Band-Aid!
Stay connected: Families thrive on connection - it is the number one thing kids and spouses need from you. Put your phone down and try to remove all other distractions (work, to-do lists, even messes!) from your mind so you can stay focused on them. Make family dinner together, do a fun craft like painting, or snuggle up and watch your kids’ favorite movie, listen to what they have to say. If you have a newborn, have some skin-to-skin contact - this is clinically proven to form essential bonds between you and your baby. Giving your kids your undivided attention will pay off in the short term and the long run, when they know they can come to you and you’ll be there for them in times of need.
Have fun:There’s a reason why we’re big on dad jokes around here. Kids LOVE when you’re being funny! Keep things light and upbeat with dad jokes and general goofiness. Let go of the things you once thought were “weird” and just be silly, your kids will love you more for it.
Love your spouse:Make time for your partner the same way you make time for your kids. Kids are fully aware and they notice everything you do. Make sure what you’re doing is a good reflection of what you want them to be doing one day. Love your spouse, actively, and make sure they are comfortable and safe in your home. Ask what their needs are, just like you ask your kids what they need. When your spouse is taken care of, it allows them to also take care of your kids better, which in turn creates an even more whole and loving family.
Being a dad is a big responsibility, but it’s also a great gift. When you give yourself the opportunity to be the best dad you can be, you also become the best husband and spouse you can be. It’s pretty awesome and I think you’re ready for the challenge! Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram (@highspeeddaddy) to let us know how it’s going.
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