8 Important Considerations for Fathers
- From birth onward your physical presence is important to your child. Understand how “being there” for your children often means saying little but standing in the audience, sitting in the bleachers or driving the carpool.
- Listen, listen, listen and listen to everything your children want to tell you. As they get older take seriously their positions, ideas and opinions.
- Whether married or divorced, work with your partner for your child’s well-being. When differences arise, as they will, try and work things out thinking about the example you are setting for your children.
- At whatever age, stage or phase your children are at, play with them. Learn to be part of their world of play based on their interest. Whether playing dolls, collecting baseball cards, reading a novel or a comic book, watching TV, going on walks, riding bikes, building sand castles — allow yourself to be led by your child in the joy of playing together.
- As your children grow, learn about their friends and their families. Try to build bridges with your children’s friends’ families.
- Try (knowing you will make mistakes — and be kind to yourself) to live a life that shows your child that hope and opportunity and possibilities exist for them in their lives. Your life is an example of this optimism about life.
- When in the best interest of your child, say no. Trust that although your children may not always feel positively toward you, know you are doing what is in their best interest. This is the most difficult aspect of fatherhood.
- Try to keep a sense of humor. There are many opportunities to become depressed as the pressures of life increase as your child grow up. Be conscious of your attitude. Is life a burden or a challenge for you? Consider how this affects your children.