Ways to Be a Loving Father
No one has the perfect recipe or an instructional manual on how to parent, but we can certainly do many things to show our love for our children. Being a parent means that we all learn as we go. Here is what some fathers have said they would do if they had a "do over".
Spend time with your kids. It sounds so easy, yet time slips away so fast. You have to commit to giving some of your time to your kids. It's an investment with astounding returns!
Your kids see you as a teacher. You know how to skate, ride a bike, find frogs, drive a car, paint, swim, and know the answers to their homework. Wherever your life and your child's life cross, it brings you closer, so accept the role of teacher.
You are a role model whether you know it or not. Your kids are watching you. What you do and say and how you act become what they want to be. Give them a role model you can be proud of in the future.
Eating together is another one that sounds so easy but is one of the hardest things to put into practice. Family time around the table is where you can listen and learn what is important to your children. If you don't have a daily meeting place where you find out what is going on with your kids, you will begin to lose touch with them, especially as they get older.
Earning your children's respect and disciplining them go hand in hand. Discipline is crucial to the development of children. They want boundaries. You must be consistent, fair, and just with your kids. Don't take the "do what I say, not what I do attitude". This will never win your child's respect. Be slow to anger. Discipline for outright defiance, not childish foolishness. Big difference. Rebellion is very common when children do not respect you or your actions.
Knowing your kid's friends is another key to successful fathering. In fact, involving their friends in your family activities is even better. Do fun activities and take exciting excursions that your kids will love and their friends will want to be a part of. You will never be the one wondering where your kids are and what are they up to if they are with you.
To your sons, you will be the biggest influence that they will ever have. Your son will learn who he is and who God is from you. What you teach your son, and how you treat him, will influence not just him but generations of men to come.
To your daughters, you are a knight in shining armor. Treat your daughters how a young man should treat her. Take her on dates. Open the doors for her. In part, you are teaching her what to look for in a mate. She will look for someone who cherishes her and cares for her like her dad does and like God does. Give her affection and acceptance or she may look for it in the wrong places.
The list could go on, but you get the idea. Ultimately, be present, be kind, teach them about God, and have fun!