10 WAYS TO BE A GREAT DAD

Not just a fa­ther, be­come your childʼs best par­ent.

Woman's Era - - Contents - By Pushpa Bhatia

Pushpa Bhatia

Afa­ther is the male par­ent of the child; its pro­gen­i­tor, they share DNA with the child. It's easy to be a fa­ther but not easy to be a dad be­cause a dad is some­one who shares re­spon­si­bil­ity in the child's growth and de­vel­op­ment. Dad is a term of af­fec­tion and fa­mil­iar­ity. Dad is some­one who ac­tively par­tic­i­pate in the child's growth and de­vel­op­ment. He can put a roof over his head, clothes on his back and food on his table. Ev­ery dad has fears that he won't be a great dad, that he'll be a fail­ure. It comes with the job. Here is a list of tips...

1 Model good be­hav­iour: It's one thing to tell you child what she should do, but to say one thing and do an­other just ru­ins the mes­sage. In fact, the real les­son your child will learn is ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iour. Ex­ces­sive drink­ing or smok­ing or drug use by par­ents, for ex­am­ple, will be­come in­grained in the child's head. Bad man­ners, inconsiderate be­hav­iour, sloppy habits, anger and a neg­a­tive at­ti­tude, lazi­ness and greed..all these be­hav­iours will rub off on your child. In­stead, model the be­hav­iour you'd like your child to learn. 2 Spend your spare time with them: When you get home from work,of­ten you're tired and want to re­lax. But this is the only time you have with them dur­ing the week days, of­ten, and you shouldn't waste it. Take this time to find out

PLAY WITH YOUR KIDS, CRE­AT­ING FORTS, DRESS­ING UP AS NINJAS, ROLE PLAY­ING, IMAG­IN­ING YOU'RE EX­PLOR­ERS OR CHAR­AC­TERS IN A MOVIE OR BOOK...THE POS­SI­BIL­I­TIES ARE END­LESS, AND YOU'LL HAVE AS MUCH FUN AS THEY WILL.

about their day, lie on the couch with them. On week­ends, devote as much time as pos­si­ble to them. The thing kids want most from their dads is their time. Dads shouldn't be afraid to show af­fec­tion. Kids need phys­i­cal con­tact not just from their moms. Snug­gle with them, love them.

Don't just watch TV shows, go out­side and play sports, do a trea­sure hunt, have a pil­low fight, Play Carom or ten­nice with them. 3 A lit­tle patience goes a long way: How­ever, al­low­ing your­self to react in anger or frus­tra­tion is not the best thing for your child, and you must re­mem­ber that. That means you need to take a deep breath, or a walk, when you start to lose your re­la­tion­ship, and your child, will ben­e­fit over the long run. 4 Treat their mother with re­spect, al­ways: Some dads can be abu­sive to­wards their spouse, and that will lead to a cy­cle of abuse when the child grows up. But be­yond phys­i­cal or ver­bal abuse, there's the milder sin against the child's mother with dis­re­spect, your child will not only learn that be­hav­iour, but grow up with in­se­cu­ri­ties and other emo­tional prob­lems. Treat your child's mother with re­spect at all times. 5

Do the "mom" stuff: Things that are tra­di­tion­ally con­sid­ered "mom" du­ties are not just for moms any­more – chang­ing di­a­pers, feed­ing, bathing, rock­ing them to sleep in the mid­dle of the night. Dads should help out as much as they can, shar­ing these types of du­ties equally if pos­si­ble. And in fact, if you're a dad of a baby, this is the per­fect time to bond with your child you should leap at the chance to do these things, be­cause that's how you start a life-long re­la­tion­ship with your child.

Re­mem­ber the first cou­ple of years are also a lot more de­mand­ing than later years, and as they hit mid­dle school they be­come al­most func­tion­ing, in­de­pen­dent adults. 6 Sense of hu­mour re­quired: Al­low them to make mis­takes, a good dad re­alises that his chil­dren are hu­man, and that mak­ing mis­takes is part of grow­ing up. There will be times when your child does some­thing that might make you blow your lid – writ­ing in crayon all over the walls is a good one, as is dump­ing some kind of liq­uid on your couch, or sneak­ing out and tak­ing your car to meet up with friends. While you need to teach your child not to do these things, it's bet­ter to just laugh at the hu­mour in the sit­u­a­tion. 7

Read to them, of­ten: Whether you're a reader or not, read­ing to your chil­dren (from the time they're ba­bies on­ward) is cru­cial. It gets them in the habit of read­ing, and pre­pares them for a life­time of learn­ing. It gives you some spe­cial time to­gether, and be­come a tra­di­tion your child will cher­ish. 8 Spark their imag­i­na­tion: Free play, men­tioned above, is the best way to de­velop the imag­i­na­tion, but some­times you can pro­vide a lit­tle spark. Play with your kids, cre­at­ing forts, dress­ing up as ninjas, role play­ing, imag­in­ing you're ex­plor­ers or char­ac­ters in a movie or book... the pos­si­bil­i­ties are end­less, and you'll have as much fun as they will. Limit TV and video games. Ex­perts rec­om­mend an hour a day of "me­dia time", but you can find the amount that works for you and your fam­ily. 9

Kids like mak­ing de­ci­sions: While it is eas­ier to be an au­thor­i­tar­ian par­ent, what you're teach­ing your child is to sub­mit to or­ders no mat­ter what. In­stead, teach your child to make de­ci­sions, and he'll grow up much more ca­pa­ble-and hap­pier. Kids like free­dom and de­ci­sions, just like any other hu­man be­ings your job is to al­low them to make de­ci­sions, but within the pa­ram­e­ters that you set. Give them a choice be­tween two healthy break­fasts, for ex­am­ple, rather than al­low­ing them to eat a bowl of sugar if they choose to. 10

Learn the "firm no": Par­ents who don't set bound­aries are go­ing to have chil­dren with be­hav­iour prob­lems, who have prob­lems when they grow up. And if it's not good for the child to say "no" at first ...and then cave in when they throw a tem­per tantrum or beg and plead. Teach them that your "no" is firm, but only say "no" when you re­ally feel that, it's a boundary you need to set.

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