Sunday, June 15, 2014

For Fathers...

I wanted to give fathers a gift today...a gift of how to be even better fathers. The way I see it if Fathers apply at least 2-3 of these tips, they'll be gifts that your children will never forget and you'll never regret giving... 
  1. Play with your child - Children love it when you play with them. Especially boys. It can be playing board games or playing sports. Or as simple as chasing around the yard. The important thing is that you are giving them your time, and that is what a child wants.
  2. Read with your child - Children love to learn. And books are a great way to learn. Read with your child, and they will grow up loving to read. Your child may try and just read certain types of books, but try and find a variety of books. Some, your child won't like. Some they will. The point is to expose them to the many different types of books as early and as often as you can.
  3. Change your child's diapers - I don't know why men are afraid of this one. I've been involved with changing my children's diapers ever since the first one was born. Yes, it can be smelly. Yes, it can be messy. You will survive. And your wife will appreciate you helping out.
  4. Be firm, but gentle - From time to time, your child will need to be disciplined. This should start early and ideally be done by both parents, not just one. Parents need to agree on what should be disciplined and how. When your child needs to be disciplined, it is important to be firm. Your child, especially as they get older, may try to test you. If you don't remain firm, your child will not learn to obey you. But you need to be gentle. Children are fragile. I'm not saying that you shouldn't spank your children, but rather that if it is necessary, a quick one or two swats in a younger child is often enough to get their attention. Often, though, this isn't necessary unless you are in a situation where you are out in public and you need to get their attention quick. A better way is to use a time out. When used properly, a time out can be very effective.
  5. Listen to all sides - Disagreements will arise between your child and others, whether they are siblings or cousins, or other children. It is important that before you decide what you should do, you need to listen to both sides. You may not know everything that led up to the disagreement, so this is important in deciding what to do.
  6. Be fair - Sometimes, when you discipline one, you must discipline another as well. That is part of why you must listen to both sides. But being fair extends to more than just discipline. Being fair when you have multiple children is that you make sure you do things for both. There may be times when you have to pay more attention to one than the other, like when one is an infant and the other can fend at least partially for themselves. But you must not do this to the exclusion of the other. As they grow older, it can be important that you find time to do things with each of them. Just remember to be fair in the time you spend with all of your children.
  7. Cook (and not just on the grill) - Some men disdain the kitchen. They will go out of their way to prove they don't know how to cook. Or if they do cook, will only do so on the grill. Cooking in the kitchen not only gives your wife a break, but also shows your children that men can cook.
  8. Help with the housework. - The only thing some men disdain more than cooking, it is helping with the cleaning of the house. You don't have to maintain a spotless household, but helping to keep the house clean and orderly helps keep the environment safe for your children. With you helping to do the housework, your wife will be able to relax and have more time to spend with you as well. Just because certain roles are "given" by society to men and others to women does not mean that the other can't do the work.
  9. Be available and present - You don't have to spend every moment you are around with your children. However, there are times when your child needs your attention. Make yourself available to your child. But you must also remember to be present. Just being physically present when your child needs you may not be enough if you are busy on the computer, watching television, or on the phone. Look your child in the eye and listen to what they need so you can better help them with what they need.
  10. Remember to teach. - As a parent, you are a role model, Even if your child is in school, there are things you can teach your child that schoolteachers can't teach. Be involved in what your child is learning. You may not be able to help with everything. Help with what you can. Remember, the most important thing you can teach your child is how to interact with others, and you do that with how you interact with your child and with others.
Fathers, you are all deeply appreciated. Wishing you a very Happy Father's Day.
May your children continually make you happy that you're their father. AMEN!
   
Source:
(C) Copyright -- G Paul Pruitt. All Rights Reserved.
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