BY BOBBI KLEIN
Fatherhood is one of those special moments that men tend to cherish but never fully realize the effect that they have on their children. Experiencing the loss of my father when I was twelve years old, I was forever grateful to spend these moments with my father and hopefully these tips will help other fathers love and enjoy their children even more.
1. Love Shines Over All.
Share love with your children. Showing them love lets them know how to treat others, especially in their future relationships when they get older. Daughters will tend to look for qualities in their partners that remind them of their father and boys will take a father’s loving behavior as an example on how to treat their wife and children.
2. Never Overestimate Spending Time with Your Children.
Children remember the moments that they spent hanging out with their dad. It is one of those things that you never forget and a memory you cherish for a lifetime. So when you can, as often as you can, hang out with your kids.
3. Make an Effort to go to Your Child’s Events.
Remember when you were a child and you had that sparkle in your eyes when your parents came to your events? Do yourself, and more importantly, your children, a favor by attending their school events as much as possible, no matter how trivial it seems. It means the world to your child and speaks volumes on how much you care about them.
4. Include Your Child in your Favorite Activities.
A father can share a world of information by just including their child with them and you may learn more about each other than you ever thought. Take your child with you on the golf course on Saturday or take them to your band practice. Not only spend time are you spending fun, quality time with your children, but they also feel extra special that you chose to enjoy and share the things that you like with them.
5. Talk to Your Children.
This may sound trivial but think about the last time you actually had a conversation with your child, regardless of their age. Being able to converse about anything from My Little Pony to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to buying a car is very valuable and keeps the lines of communication open. Social media and technology are actually causing a disconnect within society, forcing us to use an iPad instead of talking to each other. So put the gadgets away and spend time learning about their life. You never now what you will learn from each other.
6. Bedtime Stories Are the Best
Spending time reading stories together, whether you are in the same house or thousands of miles away, thanks to technology, you can still read a bedtime story to your children. Reading a story is beneficial to their minds and your parent/child relationship. It’s a simple act that they will always remember and something they’ll probably do with their children.
7. Show Gratitude Everyday
Children learn from their fathers. Plain and simple. Actions speak louder than words. Be grateful every day for what you have and instill that in your children. It’s a lesson that will keep them from being spoiled as well as help shape a healthy perspective on life.
8. Always Make Time For Play
Yes, we know that fathers have to work but you must always schedule time to relax and goof around with your kids. Spend time with them playing and not worrying about work. Who knows? Your child may be the one giving you the answer to solve your problems.
9. Treat Others with Respect and Kindness
When you make it a priority to be kind and respectful to others in the community, your children will do the same. You are the first role model a child has; make sure you lead them in the right direction.
10. Smile More
Children love sharing joy and happiness. When you show your children that you are content and genuinely happy, your children will adopt the same attitude and get into the habit of seeing the bright side of life in every situation.
11. Lead a Life of Intention
Being a role model as a father means that you must be encouraging children to do what they love in life and see life as a canvas to paint your own destiny. The best way to impart this lesson is to live your life with intention and to pursue your ‘bliss.’
12. Say “I Love You”
Even if children think they are too old to hear “I love you,” it will ring in their ears and will be something they will never forget. Love wins and when you continuously express it to those you love, they will always do the same.
Fathers are important to every child and make a lasting impression that no one else can replace. You are worth more in a child’s eye than you can ever imagine. By sharing love, happiness, and spending quality time with your child, you are making a positive and lasting impact that they will carry with them throughout their lives.
This article appeared on LifeHack.org