A father’s greatest nightmare is being told they’re doing a poor job at raising their little humans. They already get a bad reputation for being the less involved parent as it is.
Being a father is no easy task; there are lots of things to remember that you might not get a grip on everything. But don’t be so discouraged. Your relationship with your kids is probably healthier than you think. To check, look out for these signs!
The term “good enough” implies a kind of parenting that sets the stage for child development without micromanaging the entire process. The idea behind it is that growth is an internal drive unique to the nature of each child. — Jonathan Bartlett, MA, MFT
Your Kids Are Not Afraid Of Telling You Things
You communicate with each other. You find that you can easily confide simple things to them as if they are your pals. In the same way, they also update you about what’s happening with their lives. When they experience any stress or discomfort, they run to you for advice. You realize that hearing your help is crucial before they make any decisions. You are not a stranger to them, and you know this because you rest in confidence that you know what’s going on with your kids. You know how they’re doing at school and their extra-curricular or if they have any crush—everything under the sun.
They tell you things simply because you are a great listener. When they share their experiences with you, you offer the best advice you can give. You act not only as their dad but also as their best friend—and that’s a great trait to have.
Fathers spend a higher percentage of their one-to-one interactions with infants and preschoolers in stimulating, playful activity than do mothers. From these interactions, children learn how to regulate their feelings and behavior. — Ditta M. Oliker Ph.D.
They Are Kind
Their kindness to you and other people is very apparent. They are selfless and thrive on doing things for other people. Still, they remain headstrong and brave. Your kids know how to stand up for themselves and for other people. Your kids are compassionate and empathic. You find that they handle conflict well, and they know when to apologize. They are aware of when they have hurt others’ feelings and are mature enough to approach you if you have hurt theirs. Overall, they are just great humans who are emotionally intelligent with a brave heart.
They learned this by watching you. You have become a fantastic role model for your kids that they know your kindness is something noble enough to embody on their own.
A research study of school-aged children found children with good relationships with their fathers had lower incidence of depression, disruptive behavior, and lying. This study also found that boys with involved fathers had fewer school behavior problems and that girls with such fathers had higher self-esteem. — Melanie Greenberg Ph.D.
They Make You Proud
Our kids tell a lot about how we have raised them. In most cases, they turn out mostly as a carbon copy of us even when they are unconscious of it. They take on our traits and our values, and they merge it with their own experiences.
You know you have done an excellent job as a dad when seeing them be the way they are makes your heart burst with pride. Ultimately, you are satisfied with the thought that you have raised them well. You rest easy knowing that your kids are on the right path and that, despite your flaws, you have still done an excellent job.
There is no single method on how to be a better dad. As always, it remains to be a case-to-case basis depending on the relationship dynamics of a particular family. If you feel like you are still doing worse than you aim, don’t give up. You have every single day to try again with your kids. Until you find the approach that best suits you, don’t be so hard on yourself. Here’s to being a better dad!