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Parenting Skills for Fathers

by Tanya Brown

Fathers play an equal role as mothers in the lives of their children when it comes to their financial, emotional and physical well-being. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, well-fathered children are generally more confident, have greater self-control, are more likely to do well in school and are less likely to have a child out of wedlock. Some fathers, particularly those who were raised by single mothers, may not know what skills are needed to be a good father. Every father is different, but there are some fundamental skills that fathers can develop to become effective as parents.

Be a Positive Role Model

As a father, you are your child's role model, whether you realize it or not. Therefore, it is important to be a positive role model by demonstrating through your actions how to be responsible, honest, humble and respectful. Have high moral standards and treat others how you would like them to treat you. Own up to your mistakes, and do not hesitate to say "I'm sorry" when you are wrong. Behave as if your child is always watching you, making sure that your habits, words and actions are something you want your child to emulate.

Discipline with Love

Fathers generally have a distinct style of communicating with and disciplining their children that is vastly different from mothers, notes Dr. Kyle Pruett, author of "Fatherneed: Why Father Care is as Essential as Mother Care for Your Child." Fathers are more likely to enforce rules sternly, with little grace or sympathy. While it is important for you to discipline your child, doing so by shouting, pounding on tables and ridiculing can damage his self-esteem. Set reasonable limits, and assert your authority in a calm, fair manner. This reassures your child that you love him and minimizes the chance of him losing respect for you.

Quality Time

Spending quality time with your child makes him feel important and loved, which supports his emotional and psychological well-being, according to the Child Welfare Information Gateway. Spending time with your child also gives you an opportunity to bond with him and learn about his fears, aspirations, values and vices. Spend time engaging in physical activities, such as playing sports, and intellectual activities, such as reading. Fathers should also engage in productive activities that teach responsibility, such as grocery shopping and cleaning the yard.

Maintain a Good Relationship with Your Child's Mother

The virtues that a father displays when it comes to the mother of his children set an example for the children. Whether married or unmarried, it is important for you to treat the mother of your children with respect and consideration. According to Child Welfare Information Gateway, children who witness their fathers treating their mothers with a high level of respect are likely to treat their future spouses in a similar manner. Interact positively with the mother of your children, and show lots of affection towards her if she is your wife. Never attack the personality or character of your child's mother or encourage your child to take your side when conflicts arise.

About the Author

Before starting her writing career, Tanya Brown worked as an eighth-grade language arts teacher. She also has a background in nursing, with extensive experience in urology, neurology and neurosurgery clinics. Brown holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and is pursuing her master’s degree in educational psychology.

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