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15 Critical Habits That Separate Awesome Dads from Below Average Ones

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Parenting is one of the most demanding jobs in the world. And, like many fathers, we want to be the best dad we can be to our children. But, although the headaches may be many, the joy our kids can bring will outweigh all challenges. So, as we ponder “How to be a better father,” we wonder what we can do differently or better.

1. Spend Time With Your Kids

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If there is one thing you get out of this article, then the best way you can do to be a better father is to spend more time with your kids. It sounds so easy. However, this tip can be easily overlooked or neglect. We’re human. And, it’s understandable that we’re tired after a long day and all we want to do is procrastinate. It’s almost automatic for us to pull out our mobile phones and look for anything to scroll through. So, put down that phone and cut out screen-time. Make a promise to your little boy or girl and dedicate at least 10 minutes of “one on one” time with your kiddo. This tip also means that your spouse can’t help or be there with the other sibling.

2. Discipline With Care

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When you have a strong-willed child, it’s easy just to raise your voice yelling or put them in timeout when they begin to throw a tantrum. But, what does that buy other than a couple of minutes of silence? Unconsciously, children may learn to suppress their feelings instead. Thus, let’s be more aware when we discipline our children. Let us empathize with our children and understand from their point of view their “Why.

3. Be Affectionate

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Remember those times when you held your baby and even rocked them to sleep? Although they’re grown up now, that shouldn’t stop you from showing your affection. These physical touches can be in the form of a hug or a kiss on the cheek. Don’t let a day go by where you don’t show affection to your kids. A loving father grows closer toward their child bonding and building a strong relationship. When I get to tuck my son into bed, he’ll sit up just to kiss me on the cheek. I imagine he misses me loving him like a baby.

4. Talk Less, But Listen More

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A quote once read, “Courage is not only the ability to stand up and speak. But, it’s also the ability to sit down and listen.” This quote also holds true when listening to our children. Although we may know the solution or have the experience, sometimes kids just want to be heard. Listen intently to them and engage when they ask for your feedback. Once again, this method goes back to giving your children the time they desire, your undivided attention.

5. Respect Your Spouse

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If you’re wondering how to be a better father, another way is to strive to be a better husband. Treat your spouse with your respect, most especially in front of your children. After all, their mother will always be the center of their universe. Children learn by absorbing the people and environment around them. They are like sponges. So, as you should love and care for your significant other, your children will indirectly inherit those good behaviors. When you’re demonstrating honesty, humility, and kindness toward their mother, they follow suit.

6. Read to Your Kids

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Honestly, I was never a big reader growing up, but I wish I had. Reading at an early age gives them a leg up when they enter elementary school and pays dividends in the future. When my son was only a newborn, I would read to him every night. Now, my son has a love for books and enjoys visiting the library. I have to convince my son to stop reading before bedtime. Also, it has helped him immensely with his writing homework.

7. Don’t Take Work Home

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We all have tough days at work. But, that doesn’t mean we need to take that negative energy home with us. It’s easy to complain about the world. But, is this the kind of outlook we want for our children? With a growth mindset, children embrace challenges and look for a way to overcome them. So, once again, it’s understandable to have a bad day. But, don’t let it consume you that it will affect how you are towards your family.

8. Don’t Be Serious All the Time

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This tip may sound odd, and that’s perfect. Allow yourself to be silly and not be serious all the time. For instance, you can dance to Kidz Bop with your kids or make funny animal sounds when reading a book. You’ll create silly memories that you can always look back on together. I’m sure you have the best dad jokes on the planet!

9. Get To Know Their Friends

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A Bible verse states, “Bad company corrupts good morals (I Corinthians 15:33).” So, although we strive to teach our kids good behavior skills, that doesn’t stop them from being influenced by their peers. This way, if you see a behavior change, you can know what might be causing it.

10. Never Give Up

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Never give up because your job is never done. It can seem to defeat you when you try everything to connect with your kids, and it doesn’t feel like it’s working. But, trust me. The fact that you’re trying already shows that you care. Your job as a good father never ends. To be a better dad and a good man, continue being a role model to your children.

11. Live by example

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Great dads consistently demonstrate positive behaviors and values in their interactions with others and their kids. They understand that their actions serve as a model for their children, teaching them how to treat people with kindness and respect.

12. Put the interests of the kids first

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Exceptional fathers prioritize their children’s well-being and interests above their own desires or habits. They recognize the impact of their actions on their children’s lives and make decisions that benefit their kids’ health and happiness. Of course, this doesn’t mean sacrificing your health (physical and mental) all in the name of being a great father.

13. Teach kids about finances

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Effective dads understand the importance of financial literacy and start teaching basic money management skills to their children from an early age. By instilling values related to saving, earning, and responsible spending, they prepare their kids for a financially sound future.

14. Eat together as a family

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Great dads recognize the significance of family meals as a time for bonding and communication. They actively participate in these meals, providing a platform for open discussions and creating a sense of togetherness within the family.

15. Involve kids in creating rules and discipline

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Instead of imposing rules like a dictator, exceptional fathers involve their children in establishing family rules and consequences. By engaging kids in decision-making and discipline processes, they encourage a sense of responsibility and ownership, fostering respect for family values.

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