Becoming a dad is as scary as it gets. Forget about the fear you felt on your first day of work, your wedding day, or that one time you went skydiving. Being a dad is full of pressure and worry. This little human will look to you to learn everything from how to walk to how to treat others. Raising a well-rounded child is all about having a solid support system at home that is nurturing and encouraging. The question is: How do you create this sort of environment? How do you transition from watching out for two fully-grown adults to being responsible for the development of a totally dependent child?
The great news is that you can do it. Yes, fatherhood requires some serious time, energy, and commitment (and lack of sleep), but it also provides ample rewards. Not only will you have the love and admiration of your tiny mini-me, but you’ll also have the opportunity to impact the sort of person your child becomes. Here’s how to do it right:
If you want a child who is confident and secure, the most important thing you can offer them is your love. Researchers found that the love, or reversely, the rejection of a child’s parents affects their behavior, self-esteem, emotional stability, and mental health. The withdrawal of a father’s love can even be particularly impacting. Consciously choose to love your children unconditionally whether they have blue hair and a nose ring or just got put in detention. Your love is the foundation for your child’s sense of well-being and health.
Kids don’t care how much money you make, if you got that promotion, or what degree you have. What they care about is your time. They want to be with you. They want you to ask about their day, spend quality time with them, and give them your full attention when they’re telling you about their school project. Every minute you spend with your kids rubs off on them. Every story you tell, moral you teach, and hug you give is teaching them what kind of person to be.
A good family dynamic
One of the most important things your kids will learn from you is the role of a husband in a family dynamic and what a romantic relationship looks like. For this reason, put your partner first. Focus on building a solid partnership that will give your kids an example of the sort of relationship they can aspire to. Your daughter will look for your characteristics in her future partner. Your son will model the sort of man he becomes and the way he treats his partner after the example you set for him in childhood. Take pride in your role as the husband and treat your partner with love and compassion.
A role model
Just because you have kids doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel and give up your friends, dreams, and personal health. By taking care of yourself physically and mentally, you are showing your children the importance of self-care. Build strong relationships, work toward your goals, and take time to maintain your physical health. Show them what it looks like to eat healthy and exercise regularly. Your habits will impact the habits they create, so if you want children who value their friends, go after their dreams, and take care of their bodies, take pride in maintaining your own health.
Being a good dad doesn’t mean you feed your kids a diet of cotton candy and let them walk all over you. By disciplining your kids when they do something wrong, you are teaching your kids right from wrong and positive from negative behavior. Kids crave boundaries. They want to know what is and what isn’t acceptable and it’s your job to give them guidelines to live their life by.