In this episode, we are talking about how to be a good father. I’ll at least tell you want I think it takes. But you are going to have to put in the work. Being a good father can mean different things to different people. For some, it might mean that when your child is an adult, they will actually call you to go to lunch. For others, being a good father means your child moves out of the house on their own a contributing member of society. I set out to really define what I thought is needed to be a good father. So I created what I call the Fatherhood Formula. The Fatherhood formula is 7 principles of dad success. We have talked about the 7 principles here on the podcast. I have also made a YouTube series of it. Whether you are a soon to be father, new father, or experienced father just looking to improve your skills, the Fatherhood Formula covers some serious ground in explaining what it takes to be a good father.
Let’s jump into it.
#1 Commitment – Is your role as a father a priority to you? You have to be committed. It’s like anything that you want to go well, you have to commit to it and make it a priority. You are watching this video so I’m hoping you are already committed. But it’s crucial to remember this for the future. You are going to be challenged. You are going to have other things pull at your time and energy. Being a good father requires that commitment from you. Don’t take it lightly.
#2 Contact – You may have had a father who you felt was a good dad, but they weren’t very affectionate. Well, they could have been even better if they were affectionate. Touch is crucial. The affection of a father is powerful and meaningful. Give your child hugs and kisses. It doesn’t matter what age and you aren’t going to spoil them with too much affection. Hold their hand (while they still will with you). Put your arm around them. Sit close to each other while watching TV. Just remember that contact will help make you a good father.
#3 Connection – All humans thrive on and need connection. The negative part is that if you don’t connect with them in a good way, they are more likely to connect to others in a bad way. Fathers can connect with their kids through play, the contact I just discussed, reading with them, etc. But Connection takes a lot of effort. And for some fathers, even the idea of connection is foreign or uncomfortable. We also have a tendency to try to connect in a way that feels good for us. You have to connect in a way that feels good for your child. What do they like to do? To talk about? You can’t think about yourself, you need to think about it from their point of view. You are waiting for them to feel connected.
#4 Communication – We often think that communication is us talking. But for kids communication is us listening to them. Us men aren’t always good at listening. We sometimes have a tendency to want to provide advice even when it’s not asked of us. Also, what you say is only 7% Communicating with your child 3% is how you say it and your non-verbal communication. If you don’t believe this, think about when you were a kid and knew exactly what your dad was thinking just by him giving you a look. He didn’t even need to say anything.
#5 – Character – You want to know how to be a good father? Lead by example. Your character and how you handle yourself is crucial. They are watching you, listening to you, and will do what you do. How do you treat mom? The people around you? Are you expecting things from your child that you are not doing yourself? Whether it’s positive or negative, you are showing them the way through your character.
The #6 principle on how to be a good father – Coaching – Switch your thinking from a parent to a coach. When your child messes up, you don’t yell at them. You show them the proper way to do whatever it is they messed up on. Like a coach preparing a player for a game, we as parents are preparing our kids for life. They need to be able to do things for themselves. The need to learn the ways of the world. It’s our job to teach them and then let them do things on their own. It’s even ok to let them fail. They will get up and try again.
And #7 – Consistency – If you want to get in shape, does going to the gym for a week accomplish that? If you want to lose weight, does eating healthy for a few days just melt off the weight? No, when you want something to be effective, you have to do it over and over again. If you want to be a good father, you have to be consistent. This means doing the same things over and over and over again. Think about the principles in this video: contact, communication, coaching, you have to do them over and over again consistently.
Being a father is a marathon, not a sprint. We get lazy, we get tired, and honestly, it just easier to NOT be consistent. But you have to be if you want to be a good father. and you are watching this video for a reason. I know you are going to be a good father!
We would love to hear from you. What do you think it takes to be a good father? Alan, if they have questions or comments, what should they do?