It takes a lot to truly earn the title of “Dad.” Being a responsible dad is about a lot more than earning a living or showing up on birthdays. A great dad is there for his kids all the time, in everyday ways that cost nothing.
Father’s Rights has worked with many fathers and listed the five traits that the greatest dads have.
1. Good listening abilities
When children are young, parents often hand down commands and orders in an attempt to teach them how to act and behave. As children get older, even as young as toddlers, parents have to switch their interactions to include plenty of time for listening. Ask the right questions and really listen to the answers, and be ready with open arms to hear about every detail they want to share with you, no matter how large or small.
Studies have shown that children with involved fathers have higher self-esteem, more confidence, and receive better grades in school. Don’t discount the importance of your words of encouragement in everything they do. Make a point to praise the things they work hard on, whatever the outcome may be.
3. An open-mind
Parents have their own dreams for their children, but it is more important to let your kids lead you with their own interests and talents. Maybe your son isn’t very good at sports, but he shows potential in computer science or writing. Encourage him to pursue his abilities. Whatever your kids want to do with their lives, in childhood and beyond, be open to helping them achieve their dreams, even if they do not line up with yours.
4. Strong leadership
The best way to show your kids how to live life the right way is through your own actions. You can guide them with your words, but your actions speak volumes. Show them your family morals and beliefs by demonstrating them often. When you make a mistake, admit to it and make a teachable moment for the whole family.
5. Sense of humor
Parenting is nearly impossible to handle without laughing often and loud. There are times to be serious with your kids, of course, but there are many more times to take life lightly and just enjoy every second of it. Let your kids see your playfulness and encourage them to be their true selves when you are together.
Remember that more than anything, your kids just need you to be there for them. Even if you are not in their everyday lives, find ways to make the moments together really count.