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10 Ways to be a Better Dad

10 Ways to Be a Better Dad

1. Respect your children's mother.  
A father and mother who respect one another, and let their children know it; provide a secure environment for their child (ren).

2. Spend time with your children.
Treasuring children often means sacrificing.  There is no greater love than a father giving of himself sacrificially for the betterment of his children.

3. Earn the right to be heard.
Talk about anything, as often as possible.  Show your children you are interested in their ideas, their views and issues.  Children want to be led, but fathers must first earn the right to lead them.

4. Discipline with a gentle spirit.
All children need discipline, not as a punishment, but as a way to correct wrongdoing and develop character in them.  Fathers should be calm and judicious, not hard-nosed or harsh.

5. Be a role model.
A girl who spends time with her father when she is young will grow up knowing how she should be treated and what she should expect from boys when she is older.  A father can best teach his son the value of self-restraint and hard work.  Modeling, being a living example is worth more to your children than anything you could ever tell them.

6. Be a teacher.
The responsibility for teaching children rests primarily with the parent(s).  A father who teaches his children about why things are right and wrong, and encourages them to strive for excellence, is one who will be rewarded as his children make good choices.

7. Eat together as a family.
Sharing a meal together (breakfast, lunch or dinner) provides structure to an often-hectic schedule.  This is a time for fathers to listen, as well as a time to provide advice and counsel.

8. Read to your child.
Learning comes first by seeing, then by hearing and reading.  Reading to your child encourages literacy as well, a crucial step in the lifelong process of self-improvement.

9. Show affection.
As children grow, so too does their need for acceptance and sense of belonging.  Such a need is met when a father offers a hug or kind word and expresses his appreciation and love for his children.  It is the daily effort to let your children know that you love them.

10. Realize that a father's job is never done.
While there will come a time when you'll no longer coach or go to PTA meetings, your support will always play a vital role in your child's life.  A good father realizes that, while he allows his children the freedom to direct their own lives, he doesn't abandon them; his encouragement will leave a legacy to his children and his children's children.

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