Finding out you’re gonna be a father is one of those moments you will never forget. As soon as the initial happiness wears off and you prepare to become a dad, you start to wonder, ‘How do I become a good father to my kids? What are the essential qualities of a good father?’
You want to be a good role model to your kids, but how do you make sure that happens? While being a dependable provider is important, a dad plays so many other roles in his kid’s life.
In this article, I’m going to share the traits of a good dad to give you an idea of what you should be working towards as you start your journey into fatherhood.
10 Essential Qualities of a Good Father
Many dads get overwhelmed with the idea of being a great father to their son or daughter and don’t know where to start.
Here are the 10 most important characteristics of a good father that you might aspire to have. Let’s get into it, shall we?
He gets involved.
Sounds simple enough. But being present and involved in your kid’s life is the greatest gift you can give them. Sure, you’re busy providing for them, but trust me when I say you don’t want to miss out on your kid’s childhood. Make sure you spend quality time with them.
Put your phone down and give them your undivided attention. Listen to their stories, connect with them and make them feel seen and heard by you. Being involved in their lives will give them the assurance that you’ve got their back and they can come to you with anything life throws at them.
He Respects the mother of his children.
Not sure how that’s relevant? Let me explain. When you have a good relationship with your partner (or ex), respect her and work as a team, you teach your kids to do the same. Misbehaving or disrespecting their mom will teach them that treating someone that way is acceptable (which obviously isn’t).
Your kids will mirror whatever you do. So, when they see how much you value their mom’s opinion and how respectfully you speak with her, it sends a clear message that you two are on the same team, and they must respect both of you.
A Good Dad is a Man of His Word.
Your kids need to know that you don’t go back to your word, and they can count on you. If you promise them something, they need to know that you’ll keep your word no matter what. That’s why it’s important to never make empty threats or promises.
Follow through with consequences and only promise things you can and will do. If you say you’ll be there for their piano recital or soccer game at school, make it your top priority and be there to cheer them up.
It will show them you’re supportive of their interests and make them feel loved and valued.
He Uses Positive Discipline Techniques.
Being a good dad doesn’t mean you will never discipline your kids. Rather a good dad knows the importance of teaching kids self-control and responsible behaviour. But he takes an approach that doesn’t frighten, shame, or belittle them in any way.
A good father makes sure his kids turn out to be sound, well-adjusted adults. So, he doesn’t mind letting them know that their actions will have consequences and that they won’t get away with doing whatever they want. I mean, that’s how the real world works.
A Good Dad Provides for His Family
A good dad supports his kids financially and fulfils their children’s basic needs like medical care, housing, education, and food. But providing means more than money. It also means meeting a child’s emotional and physical needs.
You can be a stay-at-home dad and still be able to provide for them. Maybe not in monetary terms, but you can give them your time and presence. Taking care of them all day, every day, is your way of providing.
A Good Father Leads by Example
This is one of the most important characteristics of a good father. You’re a role model to your kids, and they learn by watching you. If you want them to treat others nicely, you need to do that yourself.
Want them to be patient and not lose their cool every time something goes wrong? Make sure you don’t start yelling at the driver who just cut you off.
You can’t teach your kids to be honest if you lie in front of them. When your kids see you being the best version of yourself, treating your partner with kindness, deal with everyday challenges with patience, that’s how they want to be when they grow up.
He is not over-protective
While a good dad protects his kids, he also knows where to draw the line. You should set clear boundaries and expectations with them, discipline them with love and keep them safe. But to allow them to grow as independent and responsible adults, you must ensure you don’t over-parent them.
Even if it’s out of your comfort zone, allowing your kids to take risks and face natural consequences will later help them navigate this complex world without getting overwhelmed. A good father is open to letting them learn from the experience.
If they succeed, it’s gonna motivate them to achieve more. If they fail, they will learn their limits and find ways to challenge them.
He Teaches Kids Financial Responsibility
As I’ve mentioned earlier, your kids are always watching you. If you’re good with money and have a solid sense of financial responsibility, you’re already being a good role model for them. Once that’s covered, a good father makes sure not to spoil their kids with whatever they want.
Of course, you love your kids and want them to know that. But they don’t need to have everything to feel loved. If anything, that gives them a sense of entitlement, and they start to take things for granted.
So, teach them good money habits from a young age. Give them weekly allowances to begin with. Next time they want something, teach them how to save money from their allowance to buy that.
Help them build that lemonade stand and earn some money to appreciate the value of hard work and be responsible with money. They’ll thank you for that.
He Shows Affection and Encouragement
A good dad never lets his kids wonder if he loves them. He doesn’t shy away from showing affection. No matter how busy life gets, he makes time to give them a hug and tell them he loves them.
You can encourage them to follow their passion by being there to cheer up your kids in a football match or school musical. Tell them you’re proud of them. Let them know that your love for them is unconditional, and if they fail in something, you aren’t going to love them any less.
While praising them all the time isn’t a good idea, praising them for their efforts and good behaviour works as positive reinforcement and increases the likelihood of them happening again.
A Good Father Manages His Own Emotions
It’s not always easy to be the calm in your child’s storm. But how you manage your emotions during those high-stress moments teaches your kids how to manage theirs. It helps them build and maintain meaningful relationships as they grow.
Managing your emotions doesn’t mean you have to pretend to be happy even when you don’t feel like it. Rather it means allowing yourself to feel your feelings instead of suppressing them. It’s okay to let your kids see you sad or even crying.
Good fathers aren’t scared to let their kids see that they’re humans too and experience difficult emotions just like the kids. He takes care of his own well-being and takes timeouts when he gets angry or overwhelmed because that’s better than lashing out at the kids.
It might be tempting to strive for perfection. While that makes you an amazing father, it also puts too much unnecessary pressure on yourself. Please remember that the aim is not to be perfect but to be there for your kids the way they need you.
Maybe you don’t have all the qualities of a good father yet, but as long as you’re willing to put in the effort, you’re on the right track.