Some ways to be a better dad

During Child Abuse Prevention Month, it’s important to remember that fathers play crucial roles in their children’s lives. You contribute to their happiness, health and success – in school and in life. Here are a few tips on being a better dad:

  • Respect your children’s mother. Children reflect what they see and if they see love and respect, they will mirror the behavior.
  • Spend time with your children. Good lessons on what not to do in “Cat’s in the Cradle,” by Harry Chapin.
  • Earn the right to be heard. Start talking with your kids when they are young. Listen to them, too.
  • Discipline with love. Children need guidance and discipline, but show it through love – calm, fair and nonviolent.
  • Be a role model. Treat your children with respect and reflect honesty, humility and responsibility.
  • Be a teacher. Encourage and support good choices. Gently guide children through bad choices.
  • Show affection. Children need the security of knowing they are wanted, accepted and loved. Show it every day.
  • Realize the father’s job is never done. Even after your children leave home, they will look to you for wisdom and advice. Be there for them.