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Because family life matters

Ten ways to be a great dad

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Nobody can be Superdad – the absolutely perfect father who never gets things wrong as a parent. What we can be is a dad who gives the job his very best shot! Here are some tips that may help you be the dad you want to be!

1. Stay calm!

Take something positive out of every new experience your kids introduce you to.

2. Be silly once a day

If it’s not in your job description to have fun with your children, then rewrite it!

3. Don’t take yourself too seriously

Character matters more than reputation. Be honest about mistakes, forgive others for their mistakes, and move on.

4. Honour your children’s mother

This can be hard if you’re no longer together as a couple, but honouring your children’s mother teaches an important lesson about respect. Presenting a united front on boundaries, discipline and priorities will make your children feel more secure.

5. Celebrate your children’s differences

Each of your children is unique and will want to do their own thing. Spend time with them individually as well as together, and don’t compare your children with each other.

6. Praise your child

If you ‘catch them doing something good’, praise them. But remember that after a certain age there’s nothing more embarrassing for a child than to be praised in front of their friends. It’s just not cool!

7. Choose your battles – and stick to them

Always ask yourself, “Is it really worth an argument about this?” Decide which battles are the important ones that matter to you.

8. Let them decide what to do on a day out

It might not be an expensive trip out, but where possible let them choose what to do.

9. Assume the best

Don’t over-react; listen to their version of events. Don’t pry into their lives unless you really have to. If you show them you trust them, you have a much better chance of them trusting you in return.

10. Complete this quick quiz…

How well do you know your child?

  • What are the names of your child’s best friends?
  • What kind of music do they listen to?
  • Do you know the title and content of the last DVD your child watched?
  • Where would they want to spend their ideal day out?
  • What has been your child’s greatest achievement in the last year?

Want to improve your score?

  • Read their magazines.
  • Watch their favourite TV programme.
  • Be informed – keep your knowledge up to date.
  • Notice their accomplishments – and encourage them.
  • Let your child show you who they are.