“The quality of a father can be seen in the goals, dreams and aspirations he sets not only for himself, but for his family.”
– Reed Markham
On Father’s Day, much of the world takes the time to appreciate the work of good fathers. He makes all the difference in a child’s life. He’s a pillar of strength, support and discipline. His work is endless and, oftentimes, thankless. But in the end, it shows in the sound, well-adjusted children he raises.
While you show your admiration for your own dad, take the time to see if you have what it takes to be a great father.
1. He’s a good disciplinarian
A good father loves his children, but he doesn’t let them get away with murder. He strongly disapproves of his children’s misdeeds, using tough love to prove a point. He does this through the power of his words, not his fists. He doesn’t reward his children for actions that are expected of them, such as helping around the house or performing well in school.
2. He allows his kids to make mistakes
A good father realizes that his children are human, and that making mistakes is part of growing up. Spending money recklessly, getting into minor car accidents, getting drunk and sick for the first time, even going on dates with questionable people are rites of passage, and a good father recognizes this. However, he makes it clear that repeated irresponsibility won’t be tolerated.
3. He’s open-minded
A good father understands that times, people and tastes change over the years, and he allows his children to move with the times and not be stuck in his past.
4. He teaches his children to appreciate things
A good father never lets his children take what they have for granted. From the food on the table to the good education he’s paying for, a good father will make his children see the value in everything they have. He’ll ask his child to get a job to help pay for a part of his first car, and take the time to illustrate how important a good education is. He doesn’t let his kids treat him like an ATM.
5. He accepts that his kids aren’t exactly like him
Everyone is different and a father knows this well. He won’t expect his kids to live the same kind of life he does, and do the same kind of work. He also respects their values and opinions, as long as they don’t harm the family or anyone else.
6. He spends quality time with his children
A dad knows how to have fun with his kids too, taking them out to games, movies, attending important performances and games. He takes the time to listen to his kids and have a good, easy chat with them. He also makes time to help them with their homework, every night if necessary.
7. He leads by example
A good father doesn’t subscribe to the “do as I say, not as I do” saying. He will not smoke if he doesn’t want his kids to do it, and definitely won’t drink heavily. He teaches them to deal with conflict with a family member and with others by being firm but reasonable at the same time. A good father also illustrates the importance of affection by demonstrating his love for their mother in front of them. And he won’t fight with her in their presence. In all, he lives by the values he wants his children to follow.
8. He’s supportive & loyal
Although he may be a football fanatic, if his son doesn’t share his love for the game, he accepts it. He may be loyal to his alma mater and dream of having his kid follow his legacy, but if his daughter prefers to study abroad, he’ll support her decision. He’s a safety net, the person his kids can turn to when things go wrong.
9. He challenges his kids
A father wants his children to be the best they can be, and gives them challenges that help them grow. This means giving them some liberty to face setbacks and resolve conflicts on their own.
10. He teaches his children lessons
A good father molds his kids into well-rounded members of society. He especially instructs them in proper etiquette, on being honest and keeping their word, and on being thankful. A great father knows he must sacrifice his own comfort for his fatherly duties. For instance, if he comes home from a hard day at work and catches his kids misbehaving, he’ll take the time to address the situation even though he’s tired.
11. He protects his family at all costs
As the main provider of security and necessities, a father will do whatever he can for his family. He’ll take a second job to provide for them, and he’ll put his own safety on the line to keep them out of harm’s way. This is how a father instills in his children the importance of personal sacrifice.
12. He shows unconditional love
This is the greatest quality of a good father. Even though he gets upset at his children’s faults and may lament that they did not attain what he hoped for them, a father loves his children no less for it.