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By Anne A. McGrady
Dads play a crucial and universal role in their children’s life encompassing the physical, emotional, and psychological development of the children.
Unlike a mother who already has the natural bonding at birth, a strong bond between Dad and child can be developed. It’s a very pleasurable, enjoyable process. A man can learn to become a great parent as easily as a woman becomes a mother.
Good Dads are essentially those fathers that provide some role modeling for their children and come to more and more school plays, ball games, swim meets, soccer and 4-H events and don’t forget dance recitals and Boy Scouts and Girl Scout functions. Children in this environment grow up to be active, responsible, productive, independent citizens, as opposed to dead beats who never leave home and wind up as unproductive adults.
The best analysis comes from an insider’s view. What makes a great Dad? Ask his children.
Tips for Rating a Great Dad:
• Affection and compassion, consistent responses to concerns regarding discipline with realistic expectations.
• When childhood mistakes occur, Dad handles the mistake as a learning experience with a desired effect, thus the child gains respect and establishes a bond that will last a lifetime. Allows child to make mistakes to learn.
• Good Disciplinarian/Open Minded – rewards children for good behavior. Understands the times we are living in and allows children to live in the time.
• Encourages children; gives them love, respect and as much freedom and responsibility they can handle at a given age. Provides instruction along the way.
• Acknowledges when a child is doing well, playing quietly and sharing.
• Treat the child as an equal. Give them credit when due. When setting expectations in a loving way – you let them know you think a lot of them.
• Listen to them. Ask their opinion. Let them know that what they think counts. Don’t just listen to the words, listen to what is behind the words.
• Walk the talk. Set an example and lead by example. Be honest, treat the mother of your child well and keep arguments at a different time.
• Laugh often. Children under 7 laugh 700 times a day, so laugh and have fun.
• Teach your child to appreciate values and things. Never let your child take things for granted, especially what is important to you and your family.
• Supportive and loyal and serves as your child’s public defender, standing up for them when needed, waits for privacy to discipline.
• Teaches children lessons, from grooming to proper etiquette and keeping your word.
• Protects his family at all costs, provider of security and necessities and does whatever he can for his family.
• Shows unconditional love. The greatest quality of a good father, even when disappointments occur.
Happy Father’s Day to expectant Dads, new, middle and older age Dads! Remember to let your own Father know that he did a good job.
References: Makes a Great Dad! (C.B.Woodgate, 2010); Traits of a Great Dad, Julian Marcus
GREAT DAD READS!
“The Very Best Daddy of All,” by Marion D. Bauer (Little Simon board book) — Beautiful pictures and a cuddly story that is a tribute to all the ways Daddies live their babies. 1-3 years.
“Me and My Dad!” by Alison Ritcher (Good Books, 2007) — Rhyming text describes a day of fun and adventure that a Bear shares with his Dad. 2-5 years.
“My Dad” by Steve Smallman (Good Books, 2012) — Everyone’s Dad is great at something, and little Bear decides that when he is big he wants to be just like his Dad.