Dear Dad

Dear Dad

Oddaja
5. 9. 2019 - 22.00

Don't Worry

What happens to a guy whose fear of fatherhood is up there with snakes and shark attacks? If he's anything like Scott Kelby, he writes a book, helping other men deal with the realities -- both messy and amazing -- of becoming a dad.

"I absolutely, positively, didn't want to have kids," he writes. "Now, I didn't have the usual fears that guys have of 'I'm not sure I'll make a good dad.' I had the other one. The 'I don't want to give up my fun-filled, carefree life of wining and dining for a miserable world of whining and diapers.' At least, that's what I thought it would be."

In The Book for Guys Who Don't Want Kids (Fair Shake Press), Kelby shares some of his biggest pre-baby worries, how he overcame them, and how men who feel threatened by parenthood can overcome those fears and turn out to be great dad.

10 Things That Will Help You

1. Don't worry about being a great dad. Being a great dad isn't about holding the baby just right, or knowing how to burp her, or being a willing participant at imaginary tea parties. Being a good dad starts with being a good husband. It starts with getting involved in the entire prenatal process; so if you really want to be a good dad, make darn sure you're a good husband, because great husbands become great dads.

If there's one thing your baby needs, it's a stable, loving home. Work to make your marriage rock solid. The good dad thing will follow, guaranteed.

Start Living Quickly; Give Mom Space

2. Try to live your normal pre-child life as soon as possible. A lot of first-time parents totally freak out when they have an infant, and they don't leave their house for two years because they're afraid of what might happen to "the baby." It's a baby -- not nitroglycerin. After a couple of weeks, go out and start to return to as much of you and your wife's normal routine as possible. Remember -- babies are small and travel surprisingly easily (especially with all the high-tech travel gear you'll find at Super Baby Warehouse Megastore).

Take your baby out to breakfast with you, take them on trips, shopping, on airplanes, and just about everywhere you used to go before the baby arrived (okay, don't take the baby to raves -- but you get the idea). Once you realize that you're out there, doing regular things with the little one going along just fine, you'll realize that although some things are certainly different now, you can still do most of the things you used to do. When you start doing regular things, it will take a lot of stress off you both, and give you time to feel like a couple again, not two people tied to the house 24 hours a day, which can be incredibly stressful in and of itself.

3. Give the mommy some time for herself. Look, I'd be lying if I told you that in an infant's life, the dad is as important as the mom. When it comes to caring for an infant, and instinctively knowing what to do with a newborn baby, women have the market cornered, and being a mommy is a much harder job than being a daddy. That's why it's so important that you give the mommy as many breaks as you can. She needs time for herself, but she's so wrapped up in being a mom, she probably won't stop long enough to care for herself.

The best thing you can do is make her take breaks. Watch the baby for a while as she naps, then have your wife go visit her girlfriend, or if her mom lives nearby, have her take some time and visit her. Even if she just wants to go to the mall, or see a movie with her friends, you've got to make time for her to do this. She needs it (more than even she knows) and it gives you some wonderful time with your newborn. An important part of being a great dad is being a great husband, and a great husband makes sure his wife doesn't get burned out being a mommy 24 hours a day.

Help Mom Feed

4. Get up with Mom for late-night feedings. I gotta tell ya, this is a tough one, but you'll be glad you did it (when it's over, not during). When it comes to dining, newborn babies think they're on a cruise ship, and at midnight and 2 a.m. they fully expect (and demand) a buffet.

When our little guy started crying for food at two in the morning, my wife had to get up because she was breastfeeding, but I got up right along with her. I sat there and kept her company, we shared stories about our day, marveled at how cute our baby was, etc., until it was time to burp the little guy, then she'd pass him over to me and I'd burp him. I have to say, I really enjoyed the burping because even though my wife could surely have burped him herself, this way I was at least helping in the process and that felt good. Plus, I was getting to hold my little buddy and the burping helped him too.

It sounds corny, but these late-night feedings were really a time of great closeness for my wife and me as we sat there in the dim light, fighting to stay awake through the feeding, and we both look back on it with great fondness, even though it was incredibly tiring. I remember one night -- it was like four in the morning -- and we were up trying to change our son's diaper, and he was just screaming at the top of his mini-lungs and kicking his little hands and feet. He was beet red and just as pissed as he could be. I held this screaming little baby out away from my body so my eardrums didn't explode, and I looked over at my wife, and we were both so exhausted that we simultaneously burst into hysterical laughter. He didn't find it funny, but he paused long enough for us to change his diaper. We kept giggling for 20 minutes until we put him down in his crib, and then we literally fell into bed.

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Be there for the milestones. Though planning "daddy time" for your kids each week is a great way to strengthen your relationship, you should also try to be there for important milestones in their lives. Arrange your work schedule so that you can be there for your son/daughter's first day of school, your son/daughter's first big sporting event, or your son/daughter's high school graduation.

Your children will remember these moments for the rest of their lives, and having you be there will mean a lot.
You may be very busy when one of your kids is about to hit a milestone, but if you miss out, you'll regret it later on.

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Teach your children the important lessons. You should also be present to teach your children how to complete the basic tasks of life. You can help your son use the bathroom, teach your children to brush their teeth properly, help them learn how to ride a bike, and teach them to drive when the time comes. You can also teach your sons how to shave and maintain good hygiene. Your kids will need you to learn the big life lessons as well as the small everyday tasks.[1]

Split these lessons with your co-parent. You should both teach your children the important things they need to know to grow up.
Help your children learn from their mistakes. If they've done something wrong, you should help them see why and talk about how to avoid the behavior in the future instead of simply punishing them and moving on.
Praise your child’s efforts constantly and be gentle with your criticisms. Attitude will go a long way as your child develops self-esteem.

 

Part 3 Quiz

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Make time for yourself. Though it's important to be there for your kids, you should try to get some "me time" when you can, whether it's spending Sunday afternoon doing your own thing, or taking half an hour to run every morning or winding down with a good book every night before bed. You should put your kids' interests before your own most of the time, but don't completely neglect yourself, either.

If you don't make time for yourself, you won't be able to relax, recharge your batteries, and give your kids the time and attention they deserve.
You can have a special room or chair in the house where your kids know that you should not be disturbed. Help them get used to the idea of "me time" and explain that you're going to be doing your own thing for a little while -- unless they really need you.

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Part 1 Quiz

What is the best way to be present for your kids?

Spend uninterrupted time with them at least once every 2 weeks.
Ask them to tell you details about their daily lives.
Spend some time without your kids.Part2
Being a Fair Disciplinarian

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Reward your children appropriately. Being a disciplinarian isn't all about punishing your children when they've made a mistake. It's also about rewarding them when they've done something good so that they're encouraged and want to repeat the behavior. Whether they've gotten straight As, helped a younger sibling with a tough task, or were mature enough to walk away from a fight, you should let them know how proud you are of them, take them out to their favorite restaurant, or just do whatever you can to let them know how much you appreciate their good behavior.

When your children are younger, rewarding them with affection can go a long way in helping them see how proud you are.
Acknowledge your child’s efforts and praise them for trying. Aim to give 3 praises for every 1 criticism.
Though giving your children a treat or a new toy when they've behaved well occasionally can reinforce good behavior, you shouldn't have toys or treats as the only incentive your children have for acting well. They should be motivated because you've taught them to separate right from wrong.
Don't reward your children for something that is expected of them, like doing chores around the house or cleaning up after themselves. If you do, then they'll feel like they're doing you a favor.

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Punish your children appropriately. To be a fair disciplinarian, you'll have to punish your children when they've made a mistake. This doesn't mean getting physical or psychologically cruel -- it just means letting your kids know when they've made a mistake and showing that there are consequences for their actions. Once your child is old enough to reason, he should know when he's made a mistake.[2]

Talk to your co-parent about the rules in your home and what the next steps are for your child’s character development.
Make sure that you and your co-parent agree on the punishment for the children. The consequences should be the same, whether Mommy or Daddy witnessed the action. This will help you avoid going into "good cop, bad cop" mode.

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Be consistent. Being consistent is just as important as having a system of punishments and rewards. If your child is misbehaving, the consequences should be the same every time, even if it's inconvenient or you're tired or out in public. And if your child does something great, don't forget to make him/her feel special, no matter how tired or stressed out you are.

If you don't act consistent, then your children will know that your reactions can be influenced by your moods.

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Don't yell. Though you may feel enraged by your children's behavior, yelling is not the solution. If you have to yell, try yelling when you're alone, in the shower, or into a pillow. But don't yell at your children, no matter how bad the urge is. You can raise your voice slightly to let them know they've made a mistake, but if you yell or scream, they'll be afraid of you and won't want to communicate.

Though it may be tough, you shouldn't let your children see you lose control.

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Don't get violent. No matter how angry you are, you should avoid hitting, hurting, or grabbing your children. This will hurt them physically and emotionally and will make them want to avoid you at all costs. If your children think that you may get violent, they will shut down and won't want to be around you. You should avoid being violent around your children, or around their mother, if you want to gain their respect.[3]
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Be respected and loved. It's important that your children know that you're a strict disciplinarian and that they can't pull a fast one on you, but it's equally important that they want your love and affection and have an amazing time bonding with you. To be a good father, you need to toe the line between enforcing tough lessons and also making your children feel loved and appreciated.

If you're too concerned about being respected, then your children may not feel comfortable enough to open up to you.
If you're too concerned about being loved, then your children may see you as a pushover who won't lay down the law.

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Part 2 Quiz

How can you discipline your kids fairly?

Always reward them with a treat or a toy when they do something good.
Reward them when they have cleaned up after themselves.
Yell at them only if you need to.Part3
Being a Good Role Model

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Lead by example. If you want to lead by your example, then your motto should be, "Do as I say and as I do," so your children know you're not being hypocritical when you teach them right from wrong. If you want your children to act in a way that meets your expectations, then they should see the positive behavior from you first. Here are some ways that you can lead by example:

If you don't want your children to smoke or drink excessively, for example, then you shouldn't do these things in front of them -- or at all.
If you want your children to treat people with kindness and respect, then they have to see you treating people, from the waiter in your local restaurant to a telemarketer, with basic respect.
If you want your children to not pick fights, then don't pick a fight with their mother right in front of them.

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Treat the children's mother with respect. If you want to be a good role model, then you have to treat the children's mother with respect. If you're married to her, then you should let them see how much you love her, help her out, and enjoy her company. If you're mean to your own wife, then your children will see that it's okay to be mean to Mom or other people because Dad does it.[4]

Part of treating the children's mother with respect means sharing childcare and household duties with her.
Let your children see you praising their mother and giving her the love and affection that she deserves.
You should not only treat the children's mother with respect, but love her and work on maintaining a loving, fun, and nurturing relationship. If the children's mother is happy, then everyone is happy.
If you and the children's mother are divorced, then you should never say a bad word about their mother to them, even if you're not on the best terms. Letting them see your less-than-ideal relationship with their mother will make them stressed and confused.

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Admit your mistakes. You don't have to be perfect to be a good role model. In fact, it's better if you're not perfect because then your children will see that nobody's perfect and that everybody makes mistakes. If you've made a mistake, like forgetting to pick your child up from school at the right time, or losing your temper, you should apologize and say that you know you've made a mistake.

If you can swallow you

 

Tips

Always speak with your kids, not at them.
Ask your dad and/or granddad about their experiences in raising kids, and ask them about anything you don't understand.
Always show patience and understanding.
Always listen to your kids, even if you're not sure what they're trying to tell you.
Practice what you preach lead by examples do not make excuses for your own actions such as: "Do as I say and not as I do."
The goal in disciplining your child is to show them that their behavior is inappropriate and unacceptable. Using force (e.g. spanking) is incredibly controversial and some types of forceful punishment may even qualify as abuse. Taking away allowance money is usually the most effective form of punishment.

7. Don't ever abuse your kid. Ever. The same goes for your wife. There is never, ever a reason to hit a woman or abuse a child. It is the height of cowardice and a disgrace to fathers everywhere to hurt any woman or child. It is impossible to be a great dad if you hurt your child or your child's mommy even once. It dishonors you, your entire life, and everything you've worked this hard to achieve. Pass this on to your kids.

Besides hitting, never be verbally cruel to your child. Never call him stupid, an idiot, or any name that makes him think he's less than the special child he is. Make it your goal to give your kid so much love and praise that it gives him a high-self-esteem problem.

8. Advice on raising children is everywhere, and it's all contradictory, so be very careful which guide you follow. Unfortunately, there is no bottom line, no official guide, no absolute authority on raising kids, so there are literally hundreds of books on how to be a good parent and raise kids right. One book says if your baby cries, pick them up. Another book says let 'em cry it out. A third book says pick them up once, then let them cry it out. A fourth... well, you get the idea.

So how do you know which one is right? You don't. So you have to do some research and decide for yourself. If you read only one book, you'll probably go with that method. Talk to other parents, read books, parenting magazines, and online articles to get as much information as possible, then decide which of them makes the most sense to you.

Don't go with things that don't feel right in your gut. If it feels wrong to you, it's probably wrong for your baby. With the Internet, there's a ton of information out there, and not all of it is good. Go with your gut, and listen to that little voice inside your head that usually keeps you from making big mistakes.

Enjoy Every Minute; Learn & Give

9. Enjoy yourself. It all goes by too quickly. My son is 7 now, and if you asked me if it feels like seven years since he was born, I'd have to tell you it feels more like two. Maybe two and a half.

The time you have with your kids absolutely flies by, so really take the time to enjoy it. Take time out of work to be with them. Call in sick one day and take them to the amusement park. Pick up your kid from school and go hit a bucket of balls with them, or volunteer to be the coach of their soccer team. Believe me, you won't wind up on your deathbed saying, "I wish I'd spent more time at the office." You'll say, "I wish I'd spent more time with my daughter."

 

Was it hard getting up numerous times a night? Yup. Would I have wanted to do it alone, all by myself? Nope. I don't imagine my wife would want to either, and that's why I was there. Be a great dad, and be there with her for all the feedings. I promise you, it'll kick your butt some nights, but you'll survive, and you'll look back with fond memories. Hey, I said having a kid was wonderful. I didn't say it was easy.

Be Lovey; Treat Kids Fairly

5. Be affectionate with your baby, especially as they get older. Kids need love, but they don't understand the word "love" on any level. You might as well use the term "phalanges" with them because, to an infant, it means the same thing -- nothing. So holding your baby and telling her, "Daddy loves you," is pretty much meaningless.

But you know what kids do understand -- a loving touch. Hugging them, snuggling them, and kissing them makes them feel loved. It's a basic way humans communicate love, but some fathers feel awkward showing love in this way. Get over it. A kid needs to feel loved, always, and you have within your power a guaranteed way to make them know they're loved. A kid that knows they're loved is a happy kid -- the kind of kid that runs and jumps into your arms when they see you.

You will never, never regret being affectionate with your child, because you will be able to send a "you're loved" message right to your kid's heart anytime with just a simple peck on the forehead, a quick hug before school, or even just tousling their hair as they walk by. A dad's loving touch is amazingly powerful; it sends a message to your child that words can't always convey. By the way, high-fiving doesn't count. It's a celebration -- not a sign of affection.

6. Treat your kid the way you wanted to be treated when you were a kid. Take a look back on how you were raised. Look back at how your dad showed, or didn't show, his love for you. How he disciplined you, encouraged you, criticized you, and molded you. If you had a great dad, now's your chance to take everything he showed you and put it to good use.

If you didn't have a great dad, this is your chance, your golden opportunity to make up for every fatherly injustice he did to you by being to your child a much better and more sensitive, involved, loving dad than he was to you. This is your chance to show your dad, and the world, "This is what being a good dad looks like." Provide your child with a level of love, patience, understanding, and affection that shows your own dad how it's done.

Never Hurt; Listen to Yourself

Being Present

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Make time for your kids. Your children don't care if you've just had a big promotion at your company or whether or not you own the most expensive house on the block. What they do care about is whether or not you'll be home in time for dinner, if you'll take them to the baseball game on Sunday, and if you'll be around for movie night that week. If you want to be a good father, then you have to set aside time every day for your children -- or at least every week -- no matter how busy you are.

Plug this time into your schedule. Maybe your best nights for your children are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Take the time to put in extra care during those days, and don't let other commitments get in the way.
If you have more than one child, then you should make time to see each child individually, so your unique relationships can develop.
If you're so tired that you can't possibly make yourself get up to basketball with your son/daughter, do something else with him/her instead, like watching a basketball game or a basketball-themed movie. It's important that you're there in some capacity.

r pride in front of your children, then they'll see that it's okay for them to admit when they've done something wrong, too.

Admitting when you're wrong builds more character than "doing the right thing" every single time.

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Help out around the house. If you want your children to help out around the house, then you should help out around the house, too, no matter how all-consuming your job may be. Let them see you doing the dishes, cleaning the counters, and vacuuming the carpet, and they'll want to help out too. If they think that cleaning up is just "Mom's job," then they'll be much less likely to help out when the time comes.

Helping out around the house will not only make your wife happy, but it'll help your children see that you and your wife work as a team and that they should join in.

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Earn your children's respect. Respect is earned, not given, and you should do what you can so that your children respect you as a father. If you're not around a lot, yell at their mother, or are only occasionally in the mood to discipline them, then they won't respect you just because you're their father. You should act in a way that is admirable, honest, and consistent so that your children see that you're a model father and a person worthy of their admiration.

Your children shouldn't worship you and think you're perfect -- they should see that you're only human and want to do well by them.

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Shower your children with love and affection. Though you may think being a good role model means being slightly distant but always doing the right thing, it actually means being connected enough to give your children kisses and hugs, and to let them know how much they mean to you. Don't let a day go by without saying "I love you," giving your children physical affection, and letting them know how much they mean to you.[5]

Your children long for love and affection from you, no matter what age they are.
Praise your children and let them know that your life wouldn't be the same without them.

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If you want to be a good role model for your kids, you should:

Help out around the house.
Tell them to do as you say and not as you do.
Cover up your mistakesPart4
Being Understanding

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Accept that your children aren't you. Though you may have wanted your children to keep running the family business, attend your alma mater, or be a high school soccer star like you were, you have to accept the fact that your children are their own people with their own needs and desires, and that they may not align with yours. You may think that your path is the only way to happiness, but to be a good father, you have to accept that your children may have a different idea of how to run their lives.

Though you may think that you're doing your best by telling your children what to do or how to live their lives, you're actually hurting their independence by trying to control them.
It takes time to accept your children's desires. If you don't immediately understand why your son/daughter wants to be an artist when you are a doctor, ask for him/her to explain it to you and take the time to listen and understand.
If you try to control your children too much, they'll resent you and will stop opening up.
Let your children make their own decisions by letting them be independent and open-minded. You may want them to play baseball, but sign them up for a variety of activities and let them decide what they like best.

Well wishes for new dad

Congratulations on the new addition to your family! Heartfelt wishes for your little girl (boy).

Heard it's a baby girl (boy)? Time to stuff your house with toys! Now all day will be baby's days!

This is such a great news! There is nothing prouder than holding little one in your arms. Wishing you the best of luck on changing nappies and feeding times!

Congratulations on having a baby! It's time to party!

To be a father quotes

Parenthood is one of the best journeys in life. Congrats and enjoy the ride!

Congratulations to the luckiest dad in the world! The arrival of child marks a new chapter of life for you and your loving wife. Best wishes to both of you and your new baby!

Congratulations to proud father! Hope to see you and your little one soon!

Congrats, new daddy, and good luck! Little babies grow up quick so be sure to cherish every minute.

 

 

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Be aware of the changing times. To be a good father, you have to understand that your children aren't growing up in the same environment that you were raised in -- even if you're raising them in the same time. With globalization, the influence of social media, and the changing politics in today's society, it's likely that your children are less sheltered than you are and are more aware of the problems and changes in today's society.[6]

Therefore, be aware that things like body piercing, premarital sex, and world travel are more common today than they were in your time. Accept that your children are a product of the times and that they may want to explore the world more than you did.
You may feel like you know exactly how the world should work, but you should let your children express themselves and share their perspectives with you.

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Accept your children's mistakes. If you want to be an understanding father, then you have to accept that, like you, your children aren't perfect, and that they're bound to make mistakes. Life is full of mistakes that help your children learn, and you should accept that many lessons are necessary -- whether your son gets into a minor car accident, fails a test because he didn't study, or made a foolish purchase with his savings.

If you don't let your children fail once in a while, then they won't learn anything. Though you may want to shelter and protect them, letting them make their own mistakes will help them make more informed decisions.
You should still discipline your children appropriately when they make a mistake, but you should also talk about what they did wrong and let them see the error of their ways instead of just yelling at them.

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Understand if your children are struggling. If you want to be a good father, then you have to be aware of when your children are having a particularly hard time and be attentive to your needs. Maybe your little girl is struggling because you moved to a new town and she doesn't have any friends, or maybe your son is going through his first break-up and is emotionally wiped.

Though you can't completely excuse your children's distant or emotional behavior, you should be aware of what's going through their heads so you can be more understanding and talk to them when they're struggling.
Just saying, "I know you're having a hard time. Want to talk about it?" will help your children see how much you care.
Try putting yourself in your child's shoes. If you're frustrated, understanding where your child is coming from will help you understand his behavior.
Prioritize your children by always being accessible for talks, even if you don’t fully agree with your child’s choices.

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Don't place unreasonable expectations on your children. A child's life can be filled with pressures, from siblings to kids at school to teachers to coaches. Help your child understand their desires and assess their capabilities and limitations. Help them set achievable goals. Encourage them to meet their full potential but avoid living vicariously through them by expecting them to achieve what you had achieved or hoped to have achieved.
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Realize that a father's job is never done. Do not assume that once your children turn 21, or they have a college degree, that your work raising them is done. Although it is important to encourage your children to become financially and emotionally independent, it is also important to let them know that you care and are always there for them and that they are valued.

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Develop strong communication. Being present for the important moments in your children's lives is very important, and so is being able to communicate with your children when you're there. You don't always have to do something exciting with your kids for them to enjoy hanging out with you, you just have to focus on being able to communicate with them to understand their concerns and struggles.

Make sure to check in with your kids every day, so that you know what they're worried about, what they have coming in that week, and what's on their minds.
Don't just superficially ask, "How was your day?" without really wanting to know the answer.
If your children are teenagers or busy college students, then they may not want to discuss the details of their days with you. Just make sure to check in often enough that they know you care without feeling smothered.

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Plan trips with your kids. To be a good father, you should take the time to go trips with your kids -- with or without their mother. You can take a yearly fishing trip with your daughters, a trip to the beach with your son, or a camping trip that your kids will never forget. Whatever you do, try to make it special, memorable, and something that can be repeated at least once a year so that you've developed a fun daddy-centric routine.

If the children's mother is present during the trips, take some time to bond solo with your kids when you can.
Planning these trips a few months in advance will give your kids something fun and different to look forward to.

Part 4 Quiz

Which of the following should you do to understand your kids better?

Shelter them from the things you were sheltered from as a kid.
Put yourself in their shoes.
Protect them from making mistakes.Community Q&A

Question
How do I cope with the loss of my own father and still be a good father?
Community Answer
Seek counseling if possible, share memories of your father with your own kids and use him as an inspiration for raising your children.
Not Helpful 0Helpful 18
Question
How can I better understand my children?
Community Answer
Talk to them. If you want to understand your children, you must communicate with them. Try to understand they are not perfect and are flawed human beings just like everyone else. Realize your children are not you and may make decisions for themselves that differ from yours; however, try to support their decisions regardless.
Not Helpful 0Helpful 15
Question
What should I do if my child is not taking responsibility for himself?
Community Answer
You have to tell your child that if he wants to be treated like an adult, he has to act like an adult. You shouldn't have to tell him or remind him of anything - especially if he already knows what his responsibilities are. He has to learn that there are consequences for every decision he makes.
Not Helpful 0Helpful 12
Question
How can I be a good step dad?
Community Answer
Follow the instructions listed in the article above. They apply to step dads as well.
Not Helpful 0Helpful 9
Question
How can I encourage my kids to do martial arts and even to go into the military? I want them to be better than me, for one thing, but more importantly, I want them to be better than my father.
Community Answer
Share your interests with them. Show them whatever skills you might have. Ask if they'd be interested in signing up for some martial arts. Maybe watch movies with them that involve these subjects, take them to museums/exhibits with related material, etc. Make it fun. But don't push anything on them. It's not your children's job to be another version of you, an improvement on you or your father, or anything like that. They are their own persons and will develop their own personalities, interests, desires, and dreams. You have to respect that, and you should encourage them in whatever they end up pursuing. There are countless ways to be good and successful in this world.
Not Helpful 2Helpful 16
Question
How do I be a good father to an adult child who has made some life changing mistakes?
Community Answer
Accepting that everyone makes mistakes is a good start. You need to realize that your adult child is also having a hard time attempting to connect with you, so starting to casually spend time with him or her (going out to lunch, going to a movie, going shopping, etc.). That is a necessary part of becoming a better father. Treat him or her like a new friend that you want to impress. Don't talk down to them; if you try hard, you will slowly but surely feel a connection with them. And whatever you do, don't shift blame, disappointment or annoyance onto them. The past is done with, look onward.
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Question
How can I gain respect and trust from my children?
Community Answer
Listen to them and give them advice when asked. Spend time with them and keep your promises. Also, respect and love their mother.
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10. Learn what kids want most from their dad. I heard a good friend of mine, Dave, once reveal what kids really want most from their dads. They don't care what kind of job you have, or how many awards or accolades you've garnered in your industry, or what kind of degree you have. What they want most is your time. They want to be with you. They want your attention, your ear, your opinion, your focus -- they just want to be around their dad. They need "dad time" and they want you around as much as possible.

I remember Dave mentioning that as long as he was at home, even if he was asleep on the couch, his kids were happy because "dad was there." They just want you with them, around them, and basically being "there." Now, what happens if you (dad) aren't around enough? Problems start. They start doing things to get your attention, and not all of them are as well thought out as you'd hope. A kid whose dad spends a lot of time with him will generally stay out of trouble -- a kid who constantly needs to do things to get dad's attention generally won't.

All right, now that you know what they want, what's in it for you (besides the fact that it will save you untold bail money)? Every minute you spend with them rubs off on them. Every story, every moral, every hug, every kiss, every time you discipline them, every time you wipe away their tears, every time you buy them popcorn at the movies, every time they see you show compassion to someone less fortunate -- it all rubs off. Your kindness, your wisdom, your examples, your lame jokes. They all rub off.

[The Book For Dads Who Don't Want Kids]

Remember, you're molding a little life here, a very impressionable little mind, and you are your kid's role model. Their hero. Show him how it's supposed to be done; as your child grows older, you'll be amazed at how you two wind up having so much in common. Why is that? Because he's just like his dad.

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