Being a father can be a tough job – but for me, the benefits far outweigh any negatives.
The pride I have daily is heart-bursting.
When I was preparing to become a dad, I didn’t know how I would feel. I didn’t know if I had the qualities to be a good dad either.
Let’s look at what I feel are the most desirable characteristics of a good father.
9 Characteristics And Qualities Of A Good Father
Fatherhood changes a man, mainly for the best. It removes many of the selfish traits we might have had before kids. So it’s a positive thing!
What does it take to be a good father? Here is my list of 9 qualities a father should have.
One of the essential qualities of a father or any parent is that protective instinct. As soon as you become a dad, you must help protect your child and care for them at any cost.
They should always feel safe, instinctively knowing that you will shield them from harm while providing them with the necessities like food, water, and shelter.
This can also include setting clear boundaries for their protection, which will often work in tandem with a mother’s protective instinct.
For example, you wouldn’t allow your child to cross the street without looking both ways – and if they do, you will grab for them to stop them.
Don’t be worried if this takes a little while to click in. This is normal as it may take a little bit longer for a dad to bond with his child.
As a dad, it’s essential to be there for your children. It’s one of the key attributes of a good father.
This could be when they are a newborn, and you start to teach them you will always be there through the dirtiest of diapers and the roughest of nights or as they get older and you show up for their sports or plays.
Being a dependable dad will show your son what type of man to emulate and your daughter what kind of man to look for. Our children are learning each day, so it’s vital that we role model good behaviors for them right from the start.
Being dependable is one of the essential characteristics yet often overlooked characteristics of a good father.
Sometimes it’s hard to understand our children or listen to them talk about the importance of this toy over their latest TV show, but it’s essential to show interest in their interests and listen to them as they talk to you.
This will help them see themselves as important and improve their communication skills. For example, research has shown that regular interaction between dad and child contributes to cognitive development.
So the next time your child shows you their latest scribble or invites you to a tea party, make sure you pay attention!
This can help them foster their creativity in new and exciting ways.
It will help them feel like they matter, so look up from the phone and give them your undivided attention.
Honesty doesn’t mean that you speak to your child as an adult. Instead, it means that you keep your word to your child. If you say you will be somewhere and miss it, tell them why.
If you promise them they will get a toy, if they are good, get them a toy. Make sure to be honest and follow through with what you say.
And, if you make a mistake, own up to it. This will help them understand it’s okay to admit you’re wrong and how to move on from it.
Your child is a sponge, and if they catch you lying, they will be more likely to develop the habit too. It’s never too early to instill a sense of integrity and honesty in your child.
Often dads are so stuck in the idea that they have to be the disciplinarian that they forget that it’s just as vital that they have fun with their child! Being a dad is a multifaceted job. It’s more than just setting and enforcing the rules.
They need to see that you can be serious and playful in the right circumstances.
Play airplane with your child, do legos with them, shoot a basketball – be sure that your playfulness and willingness to spend important time with them grows up with them.
This will foster a healthy relationship with your child, even if they start to get too cool for you.
While we’re all looking for the ideal work-life balance, we also want to show our kids the importance of working hard.
A strong work ethic is critical to instill in a child, and you can start from a young age, using positive reinforcement to help them feel accomplished.
Identify small tasks and give them a snack after they’ve completed them. As they age up, increase the reward to help foster positive behaviors.
They will learn good things come with hard work. Sure, there are times when they will get rewarded for simply showing up but temper these with lessons about the importance of working hard.
So many times, men are taught to speak less and never express their emotions, which can lead to problems later in life.
As a dad, you must communicate about everything, including your feelings.
Talking about how you feel can help your child develop a healthy relationship with themselves, becoming more empathetic and sympathetic as they allow themselves to feel.
If you are not good at talking about feelings, practicing with your child is a great way to focus on self-development.
Respect for yourself and others is critical. Your child will learn how to treat others from watching you, so you must be respectful.
This is especially true of their mother, even if you are divorced.
You want to make sure that you treat all how you’d like to be treated and leave difficult conversations or disparaging remarks away from little ears.
It would be best to show that you treat all, regardless of their gender, age, ethnicity, and even profession, with the same respect.
Your child will be well-behaved and kind to others when reinforced with manners.
Traditional gender norms would suggest that dads need to be more standoffish with their affection, but the more loving you can be to your child, the better.
This will model proper behaviors while helping them feel loved and appreciated by both parents.
The more you can cuddle with your child from a young age, the stronger the bond will develop over time. This is because the body’s natural hormonal response increases with contact and proximity with those we care for.
So be free with your affection for your children and shower them with hugs, kisses, and other affection.
When considering the characteristics of a good father, there are many more I could have put on this list, but I wanted it to be what I feel are the most vital.
Every kid deserves a strong family unit, whether you are with your kid’s mom or not. Stay in your child’s life.
Being a good dad may not come naturally to some, and if you are one of these guys, do your best and always keep your kids at the forefront of your mind. They are the new reason for living.
It’s what we fathers do.
I’ve also detailed the characteristics of a good mom too, and that is worth a read.
Good luck – and be a great dad!