So, it was Father’s Day yesterday, the only one on the world calendar just so you know. Chill out, this is not another Father’s Day Vs Mother’s Day rant. Fathers just like Father’s Day are most of the time relegated to the background in the overall parenting dynamics, not because there aren’t fathers out there killing it but because simply put, mothers stay winning in the eyes of the child.
This post is for all of you men who are about-to-be-a-dad, already-a-dad, and interested-in-being-a-dad, but most especially want to be awesome at it. So how can you be an awesome daddy? Here are a few tips we think would help;
Always put them first: Put away those habits away, it’s not good for them. Confused?( Drinking, smoking, gambling, whatever!). Whatever you do, sets an example for them, so you need to be very careful what you do around them. Take care of yourself also, because whatever happens to you now affects their lives also.
Protect them: Your main role in the lives of your kids is being a protector. You need to teach them good safety habits, set a good example by using your seatbelt, make sure they use a car seat if below a certain age & weight, etc. Financial protection is also key: life insurance, car insurance, an emergency fund, a will.
Give them hugs & Play with them: Dads are strong, men don’t show emotion, blah blah blah. This shouldn’t be the case with your kids, shower them with affection. Kids need physical contact, and not just from mommy (who gives it ALL the time). Snuggle with them, hug them, love them. Go outside and play sports. Do a treasure hunt. Have a pillow fight. Play games with them. Don’t just watch TV. Show them how to have fun.
Spend quality time with them: Life can be so draining, everyone seems to be pulling you from all angles. Your job, business, parents, siblings, church, friends, there’s always so much to do and keep up with. Once you’re back from work, you’re tired and just want to relax. But this may also be the only time you have with them during the week, and you shouldn’t waste it. It’s the time to find out about their day, school, supervise some homework or just lay on the couch with them. For weekends, devote as much time as possible to them, don’t forget it won’t be long before they’re grown and no longer want to spend time with you. Take advantage of these years.
Be a strong mom back-up: Do not contradict their mother in their presence, don’t fight with her and most importantly don’t ever abuse her. How you treat their mother affects their self-esteem and reflects in how they see themselves and treat women when they grow up.
Teach them self-esteem: There is nothing you can do that is better than giving them high self-esteem. It’s important you show them, not tell, that you value them, by spending time with them, by talking and listening to them, by praising things they do, by teaching them how to be competent. Try not to discourage their efforts.
Do “mom” stuff: Ditch the mentality that there are traditional mom duties, it’s so 1998. Daddies can also change diapers, feed and bathe them. Dads should help out as much as they can, sharing these types of duties equally if possible, this is the perfect time to bond with your child. You shouldn’t balk at the chance to do these things because that’s the beginning of the journey.
Read to them: This is one of the most important things you can do for your child. First of all, it’s so much fun. Kids books are really cool, and it’s great when you can share something this wonderful with your child. Second, you are teaching them one of the most fundamentally important skills (reading) that will pay off dividends for life. And third, you are spending time with them, you’re sitting or lying close together, and you are enjoying each other’s company.
Teach them about finances: We aren’t saying you should teach your 2-year-old about bonds and stocks but you can teach them about money, how to save money, then as they grow older, how to earn money and how to manage money properly.
Love mommy hard: Treat her like a Queen, take her out on dates, give her a massage, do chores around the house for her, give her some time alone and babysit while she goes out, show affection to her, give her little surprises. Happy mom means happy kids and definitely happy dad too!