As the end of the year beckons, it's helpful to take stock of what went well in the past year
What It Means To Be A Great Father
What does it mean to be a great father? There are many answers, but we wanted to offer a few we think are a good part of the package.
Make Time - It's understandable that with your hectic schedule, you may not always have as much free time as you would like. But remember you can always make more money, but you can't make more time. Make sure you are setting aside some one-on-one time to spend together. Make sacrifices elsewhere, if necessary, and develop time management methods that always allocate time to spend with your children. I would even suggest “scheduling” this in your calendar so you don’t forget! Children spell "love" as T-I-M-E.
· R.E.S.P.E.C.T - Studies have shown that respecting the child’s mother is crucial. This applies whether or not the marriage is still intact. The child will grow up to mimic your behavior in their relationships. A son learns how to treat his future wife and a daughter learns how she should be treated by her husband, based on the example you set.
· Be Affectionate - Some men tend to have difficulties in this area. However, the level of affection you show your child will not only display your love for them but will surely determine how they show affection to others. It is quite possible that if you don’t quite know how to show affection, it’s because you weren’t shown much as a kid. This is even more reason to make a conscious effort to break the cycle. This means displaying affection in both words and actions. A child can never hear “I love you” enough.
· Have Fun - It’s easy to get caught up in the do’s and don’ts of fatherhood, so much so that you might forget to have fun! Kids grow up so fast, so enjoy them while you can. Read to them, go fishing together, eat as a family, play catch… whatever it may be…just do things that are enjoyable for both of you.
· Manage Expectations - Be careful not to expect too much from you or your child. After all we are all human and aren't perfect. Understand that both of you will make mistakes. The key is to first develop a solid foundation, so when a less than favorable situation occurs, the relationship will endure and you both can learn from it.
· Communicate - Talk to your children. Kids are smarter then we often give them credit for. This applies to everyday life and definitely when disciplining. Set reasonable limits for your child. Remind them that actions have consequences, whether it be praise or punishment. Be open to talking and listening, so that you are always the first person they turn to for good advice.
· Lead By Example - At a very early age your child will look up to you. Before you know it, they will be mimicking your words, actions, and beliefs. Strive to be the best role model and teacher possible, and keep the end goal in mind of raising a child that shares your values and is ultimately successful and happy!
· Understand Your Role - Understand that a father’s job is never done. Whether your child is 4, 14, or 44, you will always be their father…the one they admire, respect and love unconditionally. You will always be their “DAD,” and no one can ever take that away from you.
About Ben Davis
A serial entrepreneur, Ben Davis is founder of The Gents Place and a leading investor in gentlemen's refinement and confidence.
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