Ten Fatherly Qualities Which Help Build Solid Father-Child Relationships
Good father-child relationships are primarily the responsibility of the fathers. The children learn from them. Here are ten characteristics which are guaranteed to help establish solid ties between them and their children. It helps for the mother to be supportive, and respected as an equal co-parent.
(1) Be Awe-Struck
Remember the first time you saw your child?
Perhaps you stared with your mouth wide open, or you took a deep breath and whispered, “My Goodness!” You were amazed at your special gift from God, “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).
Continue to be excited when your eyes and your children's meet, when they display their creativity, when they make effort to achieve. Fill your children’s need to be loved and to feel special. You will become their preferred go-to person for affection, even as they get older; and you will establish yourselves as their counselor for affairs of the heart.
(2) Be Available
Your life-as-usual must now include your children. Write them in on your schedule, which means you have to lessen time with someone or something else. Show them that they are an integral part of their lives. Be there to answer their questions, listen to their stories, and explain the difference between wrong and right. You will earn their trust when you show up as promised, and they in turn will feel obligated to keep their promises to you. Your family bond will become a priority for always.
(3) Be Their Example
Demonstrate the kind of character you want your children to become. It is likely that they will do less of what you say, and more of what you do. They will learn from you the habit of morning prayer, evening prayer, grace before meals and what foods are best to eat. They boys learn how to relate to girls, and the girl learns the kind of treatment they should expect from men. If you habitually explain why you do what you do, they will keep coming to you for advice and guidance.
(4) Be Their Hero
You are your children’s first hero, not because of your achievements or your rank in society, but because you offered them the first male image to look up to. If you perform they best you know how, you may be their superman for life.
To remain high on their list of heroes, steer them and support them on the path toward their God-given purpose. Help them to overcome their challenges with the skills and talents you recognize in them. Encourage their connection to a Supernatural power. When they need human refuge from the storms of life, who do you think they're gonna call?
(5) Be Loving
Don’t only talk about your love; demonstrate it. The God kind of love includes patience, kindness, selflessness, humility, courtesy, forgiveness, fairness and trust. If your dealings with your child are filtered through this mix of virtues, you child will feel loved, and will also learn how to love.
They will never want to feel distant from you, and they will forge the bond of love as much as you do.
(6) Be Responsible
Without training, your children will grow wild; with training they will become disciplined, productive citizen. Teach them good manners, obedience, cooperation and interpersonal skills necessary to get along with others. Teach them both to lead and to follow. Take responsibility for their spiritual as well as his academic training. They will view you as an authority on common sense, and you will become a regular sounding board for them. They will always need you.
(7) Be Consistent
You can judge how important a habit is by how consistently you do it. The values, the habits, the activities that you want to form the basic structure of your children's lives have to be taught repeatedly. Be clear about what is acceptable and what is not; and be consistent with your approval and disapproval. In a world where there is so much uncertainty, where black and white easily turns to gray, your children will love that fact that they can count on you to set clear standards and boundaries.
(8) Be Forgiving
Forgiveness, though a by-product of love, needs special mention because without it the other by-products may not happen. You will not hold it against your children if at two months they soil their diapers as soon as you put them in the car seat. You will not call them names if at nine months they drop their sippy cups on the carpet. You forgive them with the knowledge that they need to be trained, not to be punished.
Some of the mistakes that children make when they grow older simply mean that the parent has more training to do. Create an atmosphere in which your child expects that his faults will receive your forgiveness, followed by your training. Also forgive yourself (i.e. accept God’s forgiveness) when you think you failed in any aspect of parenting. The children will love the atmosphere in which they are allowed to try, mess up, and get help in the restoration process.
(9) Be Happy
The stresses of life take their toll, and ill-feelings will pay their visits. Teach your children early that happiness is a choice, and that circumstances do not control us. Show them that tired and grumpy are not synonyms; that you can still share a hi-five and a laugh when you're hungry. Let the home be the place where positive attitudes take precedence over the pressures of life. The smile you search for on their infant faces is no more important than the smile you want to see them wear as teenagers or young adults. No matter who sings it, "Don't worry, be happy" always sounds better in a father's voice.
(10) Be Prayerful
My Dear Son, there are more challenges in reality than we can put in print. Your human strength and skill are not enough to maintain the Good Dad profile your child deserves to see. You need Supernatural help.
Live in an attitude of prayer concerning your child. Speak with God in your heart before you make your decisions, before you leave him and while you’re away.
Let God parent you, and rely on the wisdom He teaches you to parent your child effectively. Be prayerful and confident that “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it ” (Philippians 1:6). Children in their right minds want to stay close to a heavenly father who relies on His Heavenly Father.
Which do you consider the most important challenge for a new dad?
© 2013 Dora Weithers