How important is a father for their kids? Research says a child’s well-being, education, behavior, and mental strength all depend on their dad’s involvement in their upbringing.
Noted sociologist Dr. David Popenoe says, “Fathers are far more than just ‘second adults’ in the home. Involved fathers bring positive benefits to their children that no other person is as likely to bring.” (1)
When a father is important in a child’s life, it goes without saying that he needs to be ‘good’ by all the parameters. What are those parameters and what can you do to be a good dad? MomJunction helps you understand the common characteristics of a good father, how you can be involved with your children at various stages of their lives, and more.
9 Qualities Of A Good Father
1. He is protective:
A good dad protects his kids by drawing clear boundaries, considers their best interests, talks to them about things they should be aware of, and puts things in place. He teaches his kids about the consequences of making the wrong choices. Fathers instill character development in kids
2. Affection is his middle name:
A good father is affectionate to his children. Though he may not hug and kiss the child as a mother does, his affection is no less than a mother’s. He lets the children know they can count on him.
[ Read: Parenting Tips To Take Care Baby ]
3. A wall of trust and security:
The children believe that their father is always right. He will never lie to them, he will never betray them, he will never leave them in the lurch. That is the trust a good father builds in a child. The kids know that their father is always there whenever they want some help or whenever they are in trouble.
4. The source of encouragement:
You are the source of encouragement to your kid. Be it a football match or a debate competition, your presence at the venue gives a boost to your child’s confidence. You are the happiest when they succeed and you are the one who will make them strive better if they fail. Your words will make a world of difference to your child. Your words have the power to make or break them.
5. Has the patience to listen:
A good father takes out time to listen to their children. He gives his kids undivided attention and tries to understand things from their perspective.
6. Provides the necessities of life:
As the head of the family, the father is responsible for giving a decent living for his children, be it a home, food, education or love, security, and attention.
7. Respects the mother of his children:
Children do well when they see their parents working together. A good father teaches his children how to respect their mother, and this he does by respecting his partner. He honors her views and does not argue with her in front of the kids. This sends the right message to the children that their parents work together, and they need to respect them both equally.
8. Spending time with him is fun for kids:
If the dad is at home, it is a fun time for kids. He plays with them, shares some tricks and shortcuts, makes their artwork easy, and their homework enjoyable. He involves them in things he likes to do. Television, laptops, and phones are put aside.
9. He is the best teacher:
A father teaches lessons not just for academics but about life. He shows how children can channelize their emotions when met with failure or disappointment, how they can use their energy for their good, how they can plan their careers, or study hours.
If we sum up all the above characteristics of a father, we can understand that all of them arise from the man’s involvement and interest in his child’s life. The father’s involvement varies with the stage of his fatherhood.
How To Be Involved With Your Child At Various Stages Of Their Life?
As offspring get older, a father’s role continues to be significant, but it changes.
1. Before pregnancy – prepare mentally and physically:
Fathers need time to adjust to their new role just as mothers do. Involve in the preparations for your baby’s birth. Time spent in emotional and physical preparation to become a father can make all the difference in how the fathers feel when the baby arrives. There are certain things that you can do:
Take care of your health. Make healthy choices. Eat healthily, quit, or cut down on smoking and alcohol.
Discuss how you will raise your children, talk about any concerns you have regarding starting a family.
Be prepared for the changes that a baby may bring to your lifestyle or home.
2. During pregnancy – be a caring husband:
Your wife is going through a big change in her life. Her body, mind, and priorities are set to change, and you are the one she seeks support from:
Go with your wife to medical appointments and ask questions or doubts if you have any.
Take care of your partner, prepare her a healthy meal, help her get rest, and create a happy atmosphere at home.
Read and learn about pregnancy and birth. Attend prenatal classes, help her through her trimesters.