7 Unexpected Things Dads Should Do Every Day
Fatherhood—one of the most amazing, honorable titles a man can acquire. Add these seven tips to your arsenal and you’ll be a role model.
There are so many great things about being a dad. From holding a newborn and wiping spit-up from a lapel to waiting up for a teen to return at night, fatherhood comes with myriad unexpected twists and turns. All of these experiences—frustrating or joyous—give dads life experience and refine them.Stop to think about the impact a good dad has on his family and it’s no wonder he is often a role model. To empower dads everywhere, here are seven things they should do every day to strengthen their families.
1. Be a symbol of stability for your kidsLife is full of curveballs. In today’s unpredictable world, kids need something (someone) they can rely on—like a father that will be there through the thick and thin. Parents should not only provide shelter, food, and the necessities of life, but also need to show up at events, extend a listening ear, and give sage advice. Together, dad and mom provide security and stability.
2. Read to your children
Reading a bedtime story is common practice for many dads. In fact, a recent study published by Harvard University suggests several benefits that result from fathers reading to their children.
Dr. Elisabeth Duursma, former Harvard researcher and primary author of the study, told The Telegraph, “When we looked more closely at what was happening during book reading interactions, we found that fathers used more abstract and complex language.”
Duursma continued, “Dads were more likely to say something like, ‘Oh look, a ladder. Do you remember when I had that ladder in my truck?’ That is great for [children’s] language development because they have to use their brains more. It’s more cognitively challenging.”
Aside from the scientific benefits, spending time with your kids at bedtime is a loving gesture that they will grow to appreciate.
3. Ditch the devices
When was the last time you were more than a few feet away from your cell phone. When you’re a dad, having your phone on you can be nice; you can easily set a reminder or access the camera and capture moments with your kids. But it's also important to remember that you can easily become distracted by your cell phone, which means that your kids will take a back seat.
Set a goal each day to spend phoneless time around your children. You may end up noticing new things about them.
4. Write in a journal
Journaling can be therapeutic and a great way to reflect. It also is an excellent medium for family record keeping. Writing from a father’s perspective will not only benefit you short term, but also years down the road when your grandkids want to know what their parents were like growing up.
Have you ever met someone who regretted keeping a journal? Write down your experiences and cherish those memories.
5. Leave your kids notes
Some dads prefer to do this digitally, while others like sticky notes or cards. Regardless of your preference, the gesture is what matters. Start small and leave your kids a note twice per week. Compliment them, give encouragement, or simply tell them you love them. This will let your kids know that you think of them often and may drastically improve your relationship.
6. Praise their mom
Regardless of whether or not you live in a two-parent household, the mother of your children commonly deserves praise. Help your children see that she is a talented, integral, and invaluable part of your family. Speaking highly of their mother will help them garner respect and admiration for her (and you).
7. Participate in housework
You want to set an example for your children that there is always a job to be done. Sure, there is a time and place to relax, kick back, or have fun, but housework doesn’t do itself. You can set the bar high for your children by doing something around the house daily without being asked.
• Help with dishes
• Spot clean counters and mirrors
• Change a diaper or change the laundry
Bonus: You’ll score big points with your spouse!
Applying these tips and tricks will surely help you to feel more involved and engaged as a father.