Ways to Be a Better Dad

Have a great relationship with your child’s mother
Research shows that children do best when their loving, biological parents raise them. If you are married, make your relationship the best it can be. Read books on marriage, take seminars, join a couple’s support group, or get counseling from a professional.

If you are no longer married to your child’s mother, then work on having a positive relationship with her. Children identify strongly and feel loyalties with both parents. When there is conflict, children are often caught in the middle and pressured to take sides. This harms the children’s sense of self and their ability to have healthy relationships. If your relationship is strained, do whatever works to improve it.

Spend quality and quantity time with your child
Both you and your children benefit when they are a priority in your life. You will feel the satisfaction of seeing them develop and your children will feel valued and encouraged to develop well. Some fathers say their children are important, but this means little if they have no time for them.

Spending time with our children when they are small is like depositing money in a relationship bank account. When they reach adolescence, the bond we have built will protect our children from negative activities, make them more likely to succeed in their education and will help them have positive relationships with their peers.

Do things together that foster God consciousness
There are many activities we can do with our children that will help them to become conscious of the Lord and to respect His magnificent creation. Here are some ideas:

  • Recycle together
  • Pick up trash together
  • Plant a garden together
  • Dance and chant together
  • Milk a cow together
  • Make a garland for the
  • Lord together
  • Serve people sanctified vegetarian food together
  • Read and tell stories about the wonderful and loving Lord
  • Take a nature walk together
  • Cook and offer food to the Lord
  • Fix something together
  • Build something together

Be a good role model
A famous cliché says that behavior speaks louder than words. Once in India, a mother brought her child to see a saint and asked him to tell her child to stop eating sugar. The saint told the mother and child to return in a week. When they did so, the saint said to the child, “Stop eating sugar.” The mother thanked him and asked why they had to come back before he would instruct. He said, “First I had to stop eating sugar myself.”

To effectively teach our children positive behavior, we must first set a good example for them to follow.

Show your love
Physical affection is essential for the psychological and physical well being of your child. It is well documented that infants die and children fail to thrive without enough physical touch. Lots of hugs, handholding and pats on the head are important non-verbal ways to express love. These gestures communicate how special and valuable your child is to you.

Ways to Be a Better Dad is written by Arcana-siddhi dasi

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