More and more fathers today are taking a more active role in the lives of their children. Discover how ten simple things you can do immediately can have a dramatic effect on your parent-child relationship...and in your child's future, too.
1. Respect Your Children's Mother
If you are married, keep your marriage strong and vital. If you're not married, it is still important to respect and support the mother of your children. When children see their parents respecting each other, they are also more likely to feel that they are also accepted and respected. Spend Time with Your Children
2. Spend Time with Your Children
How a father spends his time tells his children what's important to him. If you always seem too busy for your children, they will feel neglected, no matter what you say. Treasuring children often means sacrificing other things, but it is essential to spend time with your children. Earn the Right to be Heard
3. Earn the Right to Be Heard
All too often, the only time a father speaks to his children is when they have done something wrong. Begin talking with your kids when they are young, so that difficult subjects will be easier to handle as they get older. Take time and listen to their ideas and problems. Discipline with Love
4. Discipline with Love
All children need guidance and discipline, not as punishment, but to set reasonable limits. Remind your children of the consequences of their actions and provide meaningful rewards for desirable behavior. Fathers who discipline in a calm and fair manner show love for their children. Be a Role Model
5. Be a Role Model
Fathers are role models to their kids, whether they realize it or not. A girl who spends time with a loving father grows up knowing she deserves to be respected by boys. Fathers can teach sons what is important in life by demonstrating honesty, humility and responsibility. Be a Teacher
6. Be a Teacher Too many fathers think teaching is something others do. But a father who teaches his children about right and wrong, and encourages them to do their best, will see his children make good choices. Involved fathers use everyday examples to help their children learn the basic lessons of life. Eat Together as a Family
7. Eat Together as a Family
Sharing a meal together can be an important part of healthy family life. In addition to providing some structure in a busy day, it gives kids the chance to talk about what they are doing and want to do. It is also a good time for fathers to listen and give advice. Read to Your Children
8. Read to Your Children
Children learn best by doing and reading, as well as seeing and hearing. Begin reading to your children when they are very young. When they are older, encourage them to read on their own. Instilling your children witha love for reading is one of the best ways to ensure they will have a lifetime of personal and career growth. Show Affection
9. Show Affection
Children need the security that comes from knowing they are wanted, accepted and loved by their family. Parents need to feel both comfortable and willing to hug their children. Showing affection every day is the best way to let your children know that you love them. Realize That a Father's Job is Never Done
10. Realize That a Father's Job is Never Done
Even after children are grown and ready to leave home, they will still look to their fathers for wisdom and advice. Fathers continue to play an essential part in the lives of their children as they grow and, perhaps, marry and build their own families.
Printed from Oprah.com on Wednesday, March 12, 2014
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