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Parenting commandments for successful fathers

Being a dad

Kate Halim

Occasionally, dads look at their own fathering and that of other men they consider successful fathers and learn what they can do better.

Watching successful fathers over the years – with success defined by how their children have turned out and the quality of their relationships with them, there are some common practices underneath.

Successful fathers communicate regularly and effectively with their children. Fathers who have had success with their children have spent time talking together.

Creating a tradition of communication opens the door to critical and sensitive conversations as the children grow. But that sort of relationship begins first and foremost with communication.

Many families have lots of family activities and time together. But successful fathers commit time and energy to being with their children one-on-one. Some great dads have a monthly interview with each child to talk about their lives, their fears, their successes, their needs and their goals.

Others like to have one-on-one dates with their kids. But it is clear that quality time individually with the children by their fathers is a significant builder of relationships and predictor of success.

Raising successful children is not just about having fun and building relationships. It is also about instilling values and building responsible adults. Setting family rules and living by them is a way to teach consistency and responsibility.

Giving a child everything she wants when she wants it teaches her to have unrealistic expectations in life. Learning the importance of delayed gratification is important to becoming a responsible adult. Likewise, helping children learn the value of saving for a desired item and waiting for it teaches them a life skill that will serve them always.

Children experience love in very different ways. Tailoring your loving expressions to your child’s love language will help them feel your love in a more focused way.

While not every father lives with their children’s mother, if you do, loving their mother is one of the best gifts you can give a child. Successful fathers invest in their relationship with their children’s mother.

You should not speak ill of thy children’s mother, particularly after a divorce. There is a huge temptation for fathers to be critical of their child’s mother at this stage. Successful fathers resist that temptation. In the long run, your children will love and respect you for doing that.

You should know your children’s friends. Successful fathers make sure they know the children their children hang out with. Make your home inviting to them and then invite them over.

While not hovering, make sure you know these friends and their parents as well. Know the influence these friends are having on your children and help steer your children to the best of them.

Fathers need to be aware of the dangers lurking in our modern world and help their children avoid them. Sexual abuse, drug abuse, gangs, bullying, pornography and other risks seem to be ever present.

Teach your children values and the power of saying no to those who would put their lives and their well-being at risk. Successful fathers prepare their kids and protect them.

Following these basic practices will create the chance for a father to successfully raise his children to be productive, self-reliant and responsible adults.

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