“One night a father overheard his son pray:
Dear God, Make me the kind of man my Daddy is. Later that night, the father prayed: Dear God, Make me the kind of man my son wants me to be”
Here are some things that I’d like to share that I’ve learned from friends, uncles, relatives, my own experience, and of course from my own Dad.
Be Patient and firm. Yes, there are some times when they’ll get on your last nerve (…ok, lots of times), and I agree that there are times that you have to go “Disciplinarian”. But always try and practice to be a little bit more understanding and patient than you were before; Kids are kids after all (remember when you were at that age too?). It may take time for them to learn to behave the way you want them to, but with your awesome guidance, they’ll get there eventually.
Be a proud Dad. Praise their accomplishments and show that you’re proud of the good things they’ve achieved. This is positive reinforcement. Believe in their dreams, and no one can take it away from them.
Always keep your word. Kids learn by example, so set a good one by being true to your promises always. If they have requests that you’re not sure you could accommodate, explain to them why you might not be able to do it. More importantly, it builds their trust in you.
Be the man. Kids usually look to their fathers as the authoritative figure in the household (well, with mommy’s permission of course). It is important that you show authority to your kids, but also remember not to abuse the power. And when things get rough and tough, “I got this.” would be what the kids expect to hear from dad. Make your kids feel secure whenever you’re around (you’re the hero who fights monsters under the bed after all).
Don’t be afraid to apologize and show affection. Yes, this is contrary to the authoritative figure that we need to portray, but well, fatherhood is complicated stuff. When your kids see that you are brave enough to admit your mistakes, and comfortable in showing your feelings, they become more well-rounded individuals as well. Learn to compromise on certain things, and make sure your expectations are fair to him/her as well.
Be a good provider. You don’t have to be filthy rich, but make sure that your family has enough. Save money for their future, but don’t forget to give them a treat every now and then as well.
Guide them into making good decisions, and help them to learn to decide for themselves. Kids like to feel independent, and when you teach them how to make good decisions, they’ll be able to carry this as they grow older.
Just be around. Even when you really have nothing planned, make time to hang-out (You used to do the same thing with your friends, right?). Learn about their interests and generally just get to know more about what’s happening with their day. And be fun… dance, laugh, play with your kids as much as you can. Build happy memories together.
Respect your own parents. As we’ve mentioned, children learn by example. And what better way to teach them love and respect than by showing them yourselves how your parents are treated and loved.
Love your wife and keep her happy. Same as with the previous statement, when your kids see how you respect and love their mother, they will give the same regard to their Mom as well. Sons will know how to rightfully treat their future wives, and daughters would know how properly they should be treated.
I also remember a line by John Travolta in the 80’s movie “Look Who’s Talking”…
“A good father keeps the mother happy, so she doesn’t drive the kids crazy.”
Photo credit : Mrs. Aurea Nicolas