How to Be a Good Dad: 6 Useful Tips For Men To Be A Better Dad

How to Be a Good Dad: 6 Useful Tips For Men To Be A Better Dad

What qualities make a great dad? What are the characteristics of involved fathers? Is it possible to learn how to be a good dad? What should a dad’s role be? What is the best advice for being a good father? If you are looking for answers to these and more questions about how to be a good parent, this article is for you.

My name is Sean Galla. I am an online support group facilitator with more than 10 years of experience. I have facilitated dozens of online support groups for men, creating safe, friendly spaces where men can come together to discuss issues affecting men, including parenting know-how, family life, and how to be better dads. Through my many years as a facilitator, I have seen how important learning how to parent better can impact a parent’s life.

Whether you are looking for parenting advice or want to learn how to be a good dad, this article has everything you need to become a better parent.

Written by

Sean Galla

An experienced facilitator, community builder and Peer Support Specialist, Sean has been running men's groups for 10+ years. Read Sean's Full Author Bio.

The ABC of Fatherhood

The ABC of Fatherhood

Whenever a dad-child relationship comes to mind, most people think of it in temporal and physical terms. Is the dad affectionate enough? Does he spend quality time with the kids? Is he involved enough in their lives? While these things matter to the child’s well-being and self-esteem, especially in the development stages of life, it is impossible to judge the quality of a dad-child relationship by looking at it only from these points of view.

According to new research, there is another more complicated idea of what involved dadhood looks like and how it can benefit a child across their different ages. This is known as the ABC of dadhood and supports a three-point plan for personal success and long-term parent-child relationships. This research emphasizes the need for emotionally investing in children for dads.

The A stands for Affective climate, which describes a sense of love and presence of a dad. This makes a child feel protected, cared for, and safe. Being confident in a dad’s love forms the basis of a positive identity in a child’s life and gives the child the courage to explore while learning new things.

The B represents behavior, referring to how the dad behaves in the child’s life. This includes physical behavior like attending recitals and games or playing at home with the children. When a dad is physically present in the life of a child, the child has better peer relationships, is less prone to drug use, better school performance, delayed initiation to sex, and is less prone to experiencing issues with authorities and the law.

Finally, the C is for connection. This refers to a dad’s sensitivity and synchrony with the child. It is what allows dads to be teachers and guides to their kids. A dad with a good connection to his child can read the child’s mood and determine how best to help them feel better. If he thinks the child needs more of him, he will give more and will also back off if he thinks that he is overwhelming the child.  

A dad can learn how to be a good dad by achieving developmental gain in these three areas. This can be done through constant involvement and building of the dad-child relationship even as the child transitions through different stages of development.

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Qualities of a Good Dad

He is protective 

Any good dad will protect their kid by nurturing them using advice, drawing clear boundaries, and ensuring they keep the kid’s best interests at heart. He will teach the kids about consequences and how to make the right choices to instill character development in the child.

He shows affection

A good dad will show affection toward his children. He is not afraid to hug and kiss the children when need is as a way of letting the kids know that they can count on him.

He is dependable 

A good dad lets the children know that he is dependable and will be present through thick and thin.

He is involved 

A good dad is personally engaged in the kids’ lives, hopes, interests, and dreams. They are curious and attentive to the needs and wants of the child.

They value the mother

A good dad will show value and respect for the kid’s mother.

He is verbally expressive 

Along with showing physical affection, good dads also communicate clearly, uphold guidelines verbally and correct the child without belittling or controlling them.

He is playful 

Good dads delight in their kids by being playful and fun.

They are honest 

Good dads live by the values they want their young children to uphold, like honesty and integrity.

How to Be a Good Dad

How to Be a Good Dad

Whether you are a single parent, a new dad, or a dad interested in becoming a better one, there are tips you can use to help you in your endeavor.

Always put your child’s interests first

As a dad, one of the things you should learn is how to put your child’s interest first. This can sometimes include giving up parts of your life or habits that interfere with your parenting. The best way to set a good example to your kids is through action, and this should reflect in everything you do. Sometimes, putting their interests first can mean taking better care of yourself physically and mentally so you can be a better parent to them.

Be a protector

One of the roles played by a dad is that of a protector. There are numerous ways to make your child feel safe. This can include creating a safe environment for them at home, financially cushioning them to ensure their needs are met, teaching them ideal safety habits, and setting an excellent example of personal safety.

Spend quality time with them

Parenting is not always easy. Sometimes your schedule can be overtaken by other events in life, making it hard to create time for your children. It is essential to ensure you find time in your schedule to spend with your kids and not just wait for father’s day. You can spend some time with them after work or during the weekends. Take time to find out how their day went, how school is going, what challenges they are facing and even their latest achievement. What kids want most from their dads is time. If you have grown kids, you can choose to indulge in their favorite video game as a way of bonding.

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Do mom stuff.

One of the best ways to set a good example for your kids is by making them aware that there are no gender roles in life and in your own family. You can do this by doing stuff around the house that would traditionally be considered to be mom stuff. This can include changing diapers, cooking for the family, doing laundry, feeding the kids, and tidying the house. Some of these chores can be excellent ways to bond with the kid, especially if they are toddlers or infants.

Read to the child

Today’s world is dominated by the internet and TV, which takes away from traditional reading. As a good dad, it is important to take the time to read children’s books to your child or children to develop their reading abilities. You can begin reading to them at an early age and encourage them to start reading on their own as they grow older. This is an ideal way of strengthening the father-child relationship and ensuring the child enjoys better literacy as they grow.

Join a dad’s support group

Dad supports groups, also referred to as father support groups are forums where dads can meet and talk about dadhood. These platforms offer new dads, experienced dads, and even single dads an avenue to speak to men in the same position and learn from men with experience as dads. It is the perfect place for anyone looking for advice or help to become a better dad or foster better relationships with his children.

Generally, most parenting support groups target mothers. This leaves dads out of the equation. Most men do not know where to go for parenting help. Having a new baby can be isolating for most men. If there is no help and guidance or parenting groups to go to, men tend to cave under the pressure as most of them lack the parenting skills required to be role models and good guides to their children. Dad support groups ensure men have a safe space to express their parenting challenges and frustrations and get help for the same.

The Benefits of Dad Support Groups

Different men will give various reasons for joining support groups. Some fathers join these groups for networking purposes, others for learning, and others to seek help when fatherhood becomes challenging.

They offer guidance

Learning how to be a good dad is not easy, and certain circumstances can make it even tougher. A support group is the right place for widowed fathers to get back on the right track. It offers guidance and support from other fathers who have previously been widowed.

Some father’s rights groups offer guidance to divorced dads by teaching them their father’s rights after a divorce and how to remain in their children’s lives even after losing custody. Regardless of the challenge you are going through as a father, a support group holds the answers you seek.  

Some father support groups have a fatherhood program that offers single father help to first-time single dads or single dads who need help.

Dad support groups offer friendship

If you are a dad who feels isolated or can’t seem to find a role model to learn from, a support group for dads can connect you to other fathers. These groups are all about positive parenting and being the best dads. You will learn from others and foster strong friendships with like-minded people. As a networking platform, an online support group like Men’s Group connects you with other fathers who can offer career guidance and advice as part of fatherhood support.

It is a resource hub

If you are looking for resources and information on becoming a better dad, fatherhood support groups can be excellent places to look. In these groups, you will find resources on child care and balancing fatherhood and your career. You will also find information about fathering children with medical needs and how to address discipline issues.

Where to Find Dad Support Groups

Father support groups come in different forms. However, they all fall under two categories: online and offline.

Online support groups

Online father support groups are online-based platforms that offer fathers a place to connect with other fathers virtually. Online father support groups open up to all fathers from different walks of life. This gives you a better chance to learn from different people and get different views on fatherhood issues.

Most online support groups offer anonymity to members, making them perfect for any father who prefers to learn and get help anonymously. Some dad groups are purely chat-based platforms, while others, like Men’s Group, offer virtual video meetings. 

Offline support groups

These are physical meetings that happen at a pre-set location. Fathers meet in person and share experiences as they learn from each other. If you do not mind physically meeting and connecting with other fathers, these meetings may be the right choice. Most of the time, these meetings happen in communities or neighborhoods. The sessions can be once a week, once every other week, or even once a month.

The most significant disadvantage of physical meetings is the unavailability of help round the clock. Unless you connect outside the group with a few fathers from the group, you can only share in the group during the meeting as there is no other way to meet.

The Best Dad Support Groups of 2022

National Fatherhood Initiative

This National Initiative Program is geared towards keeping fathers interested in their fatherhood journey. They aim to create a world where every child enjoys having a 24/7 father. They equip fathers with skills that enable them to become better fathers and present fathers, even when handling a busy work schedule. Their program aims to give every child a responsible, involved, and committed father.

The Fathers’ Rights Movement

This is a fatherhood support program that works to empower fathers by teaching them their rights and educating the public on the importance of fathers in society. The group has many chapters throughout the United States with pages on social media platforms. Here, dads can get resources like state documents and books on child care, child custody, and how to become better fathers to their children.

Men’s Group

Mensgroup

Men’s Group is an all-men online support platform. The main goal of this platform is to create an online community where men can be comfortable enough to share whatever they are going through, including the challenges they face as parents. Apart from getting positive support as a father, you will meet men who can guide you and help you become a better version of yourself, ultimately impacting your life as a father. This is the perfect group for anyone looking for all-rounded support and building relations that will positively impact their life.

Learning from other men on MensGroup about how to become a good dad will fast-track your journey to becoming the best father to your children. You will learn to become a better communicator, which will positively impact your fatherhood.

Members meet virtually via chat, text, or video to share, educate, and inspire.

Conclusion

The idea that fathers should be stoic and tough is outdated. Fatherhood is about being gentle, cooperative, supportive, and sensitive. Men’s Group.com is a platform that helps dads explore their identities and thus find their place in their children’s lives. It encourages dads to be real and vulnerable, even as they learn to be disciplinarians. These are recommended attributes if dads are to make real connections with their kids.

*Sources:
1. How To Be a Good Dad: 7 Ways To Be the Father Your Kids Need
2. How to be a Great Dad – 12 Awesome Tips
3. The Awesome Dad Cheat Sheet: 18 Fatherhood Tips They Should’ve Handed Out at the Delivery Room
4. The secret of being a good father
5. How to Be a Good Father

 

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