Tuesday, May 26, 2009

15 Ways to Be a Great Dad

You may need to pass a test in order to drive, but being a father doesn't require a license. While anyone can be a dad, there is a big difference between being just a "dad" and being a "great dad." Don't sweat it, though, if you need to brush up on your "great dad" skills. You can easily do so at any time. Father's Day offers an opportune time to get you back on track. Here are some ways to get started.

1. Don't compare siblings. They are separate people with varying interests, talents, etc.

2. Get ready to play. That game of checkers in the living room or catch in the backyard promotes bonding and mental productivity.

3. Be prepared for the unexpected. Your baby could get sick on the night of your firm's party. Or your wife may need to work late one night and need you to pick up the baby from daycare. Flexibility on your part can help control the chaos.

4. Get ready to work. You're going to have to tote that car seat, crib, diaper bag, toys and more. It may not be the most fun in a blizzard or heatwave, but it's part of the job.

5. Practice the art of patience. No matter how loud your baby is crying, getting upset will only make it worse.

6. Don't ridicule or put down anyone in your home. Your goal is to create a positive household environment, not a negative one.

7. Listen to what your kids have to say as well as how and when they say it. By listening, you'll learn about their thoughts and lives and encourage them to communicate with you even more.

8. Learn to laugh. It's true that it's the best medicine -- and it's free.

9. Give hugs, especially at the beginning and end of each day. It's a simple way of showing that you care.

10. Be sure to say, "I love you." Those three words can make a kid's day.

11. Keep a united front with your wife. You both need to agree on household and discipline issues and stick with them.

12. Be aware of what is going on at home. Does Sally seem nervous about something? Does Billy have a big test today? Be on top of the needs and concerns of your children.

13. Maintain a healthy family. Feed them a nutritious diet, and promote activity. It's good for not only their bodies, but their minds, too.

14. Promote honesty. Be truthful with your kids, and teach them the importance of telling and accepting the truth.

15. Spend quality time with your children. Don't just sit and watch TV. Toss around a baseball, tour the zoo or bake a batch of cupcakes.

These things are what being a dad is all about.

CAPTION: Give your child a hug as often as you can. It's one of the best ways to show you care.


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