If they want to be considered a Great Dad!
As Father’s Day approaches, I am reminded of the strengths and characteristics of my own father, and how his encouragement, love, and support shaped the person I am today. The following qualities are easily spotted in Roger Rand at present, however, were not acquired overnight. My father spent countless hours reading books, attending seminars, and consulting with other men he considered role models in order to gain knowledge and insight in the parenting department. He later put these newly found skills into practice. My father was determined to make the changes necessary to be an effective Father to me and my 3 younger siblings. This sudden change occurred when I was 14 years of age, and my father saw the real-life effects of absent and ineffective parenting. The following traits are ones that Roger Rand possesses today, and I believe are essential to be a great father.
I knew from a little girl that my dad loved me no matter what I did. Disassociating the behavior from the person is critical to developing positive self-esteem. I did a lot of very stupid things in my adolescence and knew when my dad was angry or disapproved, but the feeling of being loved was always present.
Quality Time/Be Involved
Being the first of four and a girl, my dad went out of his way to get me involved in baseball. Being a long and devoted Chicago Cubs fan, we never missed an opening day. At the age of 5, I could recite the names and positions of each player on the team photo. Watching the games, going to the games, and being part of the player fan club strengthened the father-daughter relationship and provided us an outlet in which to spend quality time
Clear Consistent Boundaries/Discipline
This is an area that took time for my dad to develop. For most of my childhood, my father was not the disciplinarian and was very relaxed in this area. This resulted in many problems, especially for me- a child who pushed every limit. It is critical that all children have boundaries and know what is expected of them. This is best communicated by the father and enforced/supported by other caregivers. My father developed this skill, and it was remarkable the change that occurred with my younger siblings.
My dad has an uncanny ability to encourage others even in the most despairing situations. This is very important in child rearing years as kids do make mistakes and poor choices. Having an encouraging father teaches a child that there is hope and that they have the ability to move past situations that may at first appear hopeless.
My dad has always been a man of integrity. What he says he is going to do, he does. When little eyes were watching we saw him modeling honesty, commitment, respect to others, and love. My siblings and I knew we could trust him, and that others around him valued him as a person and trusted what he said. You cannot expect your children to respect others when they witness you doing otherwise. The best way to instill virtues is by example.
This is a big one for me. In simple terms, I define being resilient as the ability to bounce back after something bad happens. There is no child that is immune from experiencing traumatic situations. A child that can learn resiliency at a young age will be able to adapt and cope to life’s greatest challenges as an adult. Fathers that encourage, support, cry when appropriate, and help pick up the pieces after a sad or traumatic event are helping their children build skills for a lifetime.
I encourage you to take the time this Father’s Day to share something positive about your own Father or a Father you know that has touched your life in a special way. Share with us via Social Media or send us a private message to [email protected]
Debbie Riddle is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Delaware and New Jersey and CEO of Total Family Solutions. www.totalfamilysolutions.com