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How to Be a Good Dad: 25 Simple Traits that Make an Awesome Father

how to be a good dad

Being a dad is wonderful, but knowing how to be a good one takes practice! Here are 25 tips on how to be a good dad. You don’t want to mess this up.

Whether becoming a dad for the first time, or you already are one but want to do a better job, it’s important to understand the different qualities and attributes for how to be a good dad.

Bringing up children is a tough job, some might even go as far as to say it is the toughest job in the world. You want your children to grow up confident, secure, happy, curious, adventurous, responsible, and kind. But teaching them to be this way isn’t as easy as it might seem. You’ve got to practice what you preach, change your own behavior, answer tricky questions, lead the way, and always watch what you say and do. [Read: The 20 qualities in a guy that makes him a really good man]

How to be a good dad – The 25 little things that count

Children look to their parents for guidance and answers as well as creating a safe and happy environment for your kids to grow up in. You also should prepare yourself to be the fountain of knowledge they expect you to be. Of course, it’s important to teach children that it’s okay to not know the answer to something, but they’ll want to hear your opinions.

It’s your responsibility to teach them the correct way to behave in any situation—good behavior from bad behavior and the difference between right and wrong. Sounds exhausting, right? Well, it doesn’t have to be! By following these tips, you make your own life easier. All the while shaping and raising your children the way you want and being an excellent father.

Here are 25 traits and little things that count when it comes to knowing how to be a good dad.

#1 Teach them how to be healthy. Children need guidance on how to live a healthy lifestyle. From a young age, teach your children how to be healthy and to understand the importance of doing so. [Read: 20 “toxic” masculine traits that are actually really healthy]

#2 Set boundaries. While you might not like doing it, you must have some rules. Make sure your kids know what these are, and that no means no. If you are firm and they understand what is and isn’t acceptable, your house will run so much smoother. [Read: Learning how to say no for a better life]

#3 Make time for them. Children need to feel valued and need lots of attention. It can be tough after a long day in the office not to want to just kick back and have some you time, but make sure you spend quality time with your kids. You receive so much in return.

#4 Be there at bedtime. We know it’s not always possible, but being there to put the kids to bed is important. They feel safe and secure knowing you are around as they drift off to sleep.

#5 Listen to them. Children need to feel listened to. It’s important not to dismiss what they say as ‘childish’ and actually hear what they tell you and engage in conversations with them too. Children have a magical and innocent way of looking at the world. It just might teach you a thing or two if you do!

#6 Find out things together. Be explorers together! Remember you don’t have to have all the answers. If they ask you something and you don’t know then find out and learn together. Bonus, you teach them how to find out things for themselves.

#7 Be affectionate. Hug your kids, kiss them goodnight, hold their hand when you walk down the street. Being affectionate with your children helps you form a closer bond. [Read: 7 simple ways to be a better role model]

#8 Tell them you love them. Tell your children you love them all the time. Sometimes they just need to hear it to be assured everything is OK.

#9 Be open and honest. Being honest with your kids and open with them encourages them to do the same. Obviously, there are some conversations that need to be ‘adults only.’ If you explain things to your children instead of hiding things from them, they’ll be more likely to share things with you too.

#10 Put yourself in their shoes. Sometimes it’s hard to remember what it was like to be a child. Remember to try and see things from their perspective before you make decisions on things.

#11 Be brave. While you don’t want your children to be reckless or irresponsible, showing no fear, especially when it comes to those little, stupid things in life, you teach them there is nothing to be afraid of. [Read: 15 things only immature men do]

#12 Give them the opportunity to make decisions. Children love being involved in the decision-making process, so when possible, allow them to make decisions too.

#13 Be patient. A little patience goes a long way in parenthood. If you find yourself feeling frustrated, take a deep breath and try to stay calm.

#14 Never shout. You don’t need to shout at your kids. By setting firm rules and teaching them right from wrong you don’t need to lose your temper with them.

#15 Make them laugh. Children need laughter in their lives so make them laugh often!

#16 Make it magical. Children have wild and vivid imaginations and often this is lost in adulthood. Help them explore and hold onto this for as long as possible by making their world as magical as you can.

#17 Play with them. Make sure to take the time to play with them. Be involved with their games and help them learn and grow through play.

#18 Don’t let them down. It’s important not to over-promise to your kids. They want you to be someone they count on. Make sure you don’t let them down or disappoint them. [Read: A guide to grow up and face like a mature adult]

#19 Teach them independence. Children lean on you and look to you to nurture and protect them. But there are always going to be times where they need to know how to do things by themselves. Teaching them how to be independent and encouraging them to take the lead helps them to grow up as confident and self-assured young adults.

#20 Try not to worry. The world is a scary place to bring up children at times, and while it’s good to consider risks, if you worry about every little thing, your children notice and worry too.

#21 Be a good partner. Teach your children how to be in a loving and respectful relationship by always treating your partner well.

#22 Respect your kids. Remember that just because kids are kids, they deserve respect too.

#23 Follow your instincts. There is so much parenting advice out there, sometimes just trust your gut and follow your heart. You can’t go too far wrong.

#24 Be a parent not a friend. Remember you are your child’s parent, not their friend. It’s important to know the difference! [Read: 30 ways helicopter parents ruin their children’s lives]

#25 Enjoy it! Children grow up so fast and soon they’ll fly the nest! Try to cherish every moment and enjoy it while you can.

Understanding how to be a good dad takes practice. And while it’s almost impossible to be the perfect dad, if you follow these tips you help your children to grow up kind, confident, and strong.

[Read: 12 life questions to help you visualize your future]

Remember, you’ll screw up sometimes and that’s okay. Simply by trying to learn how to be a good dad, means you are already doing an excellent job!

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Bethany Locke
Bethany Locke
Bethany was born and raised in Scotland and now resides in Brighton where she lives with her partner and rather disobedient cocker spaniel pup. She works as a f...
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