Do you wish you were a better dad, but just don't know how? A lot of us guys struggle with how to be a better dad. Many of us weren't taught how because we had fathers who were poor examples. And many of us just don't feel that comfortable with being a father.
If any of that describes you, here are 5 small steps you can take to begin to be a better dad:
SAY I'M SORRY There's a song by Elton John that says 'sorry' is the hardest word. It certainly is, and it's also a very powerful word. One mistake we dads often make is having the belief that we have to set a great, or even a perfect, example for our kids. This is belief is a lie. It's also not possible, as you and I both know. But having this belief causes us to hide parts of ourselves from our kids in order to maintain this illusion.
One of the best gifts you can give your kids is to let them see your mistakes. This builds their confidence in themselves and helps them be more comfortable with their own imperfections. We all get frustrated with our kids, sometimes we do things we regret, and say things we wish we could take back. Rather than ignore these mistakes, use them as opportunities to say I'm sorry and make it a teachable moment for your kids.
TREAT MOMMY RIGHT Even for men who are divorced, treating your kids' mommy right is crucial to being a better dad. Part of the way we love our kids is by how we treat the most important person in their world -- mommy. Sorry guys, we dads by nature take second place to mom, but not an inferior place. Being respectful, considerate, loving towards their mom is a very important way we can be a better dad.
TURN YOUR CELL PHONE OFF We've all got a lot of demands on us to do more and more and more. Technology hasn't turned out to make our lives much easier, just more intruded on. Our kids have suffered as a result.
- When we can make it to our kid's soccer games, we'll check email or our social media feeds on our cell phones while we watch them play.
- We can be wrestling with them on the living room floor, but if our cell phone rings, we've got to take the call.
- We can feel rushed when working with them on their homework because of our own work we've got to get back too when they go to bed.
Sound familiar? Our kids see it, feel it, and know it -- they're not the most important thing in our lives. We tell them they are, but our actions say something different.
BUILD A RELATIONSHIP WITH EACH KID It's easy and convenient when we have multiple kids to do things with all of them together. When I talk to dads in counseling about their kids they usually make no discernment between each one. Mothers on the other hand seem to know all the nuances that make each kid unique.
Each of our kids needs to know and experience the love we have specifically for just them. Here are some ideas how:
- Look for ways to spend time with each one separately
- Compliment something unique about them
- Know what's going on in their life, such as a conflict with a friend, and ask them about it.
DEAL WITH YOUR STUFF We've all got stuff; that's why the name of our company is "Guy Stuff" Counseling. Whatever your stuff -- anger, self-esteem, think yo're out of love with mommy, stress, porn, dissatisfaction with your life, cheating -- get help and deal with it. One of the most common characteristics of men is that we ignore our stuff. I guarantee you that your stuff gets in the way of your being a better dad. If you don't see how, then talk to a counselor specializing in men and find out.
Take just one of these tips on being a better dad and start doing it -- today.
Looking for More? Check Out These Articles
- The Main Reasons Why Guys Go To Therapy
- Why Do Men Think It's OK To Talk About Other Women To Their Partners?
- How To Co-Parent During Separation From Your Marriage
- Get More Help Understanding Men