21st Century men have become more occupied with providing for the family than raising great children as it were with our ancestors. Doting dads are now in short supply.
Our ancestors were doting dads, they were not only providers, they also participated in imbibing great values into their children, they gave their offspring quality time, teaching them valuable lessons that shaped them.
These days stay at home mothers are in charge of raising the children.
It is even worse that in a bid to make more money, the fathers and the mothers are now all busy chasing money to provide a good life for their children. School teachers have taken an additional job of raising kids.
This needs to be corrected. No one can raise your child better than you. A child needs the equal attention of both father and mother.
To become a doting dad is not hard, it just takes planning and commitment. You need to plan how to create time out of your busy schedule to spend with your kids and commit to executing this plan.
This is very important because children grow up so fast that you will one day discover that your kids are now men and women without being part of the evolution of their lives.
“While work is a vital part of your life, it is only part of it,” says Rob Parsons, a former top lawyer and executive director of the charity, Care for the Family. “The door of childhood closes very fast”.
Here are 9 ways to become a doting dad
- Be involved with your newborn
- Always knee to talk to toddlers and listen with your ears
- Know the right time to listen, talk, correct, etc
- Always touch your kids
- Family tradition
- Quality time
- Family mealtime is core
- Praise their creative and educational exploits
- Teach your children about your family tree
Be involved with your newborn
When my first child was born, I was under 30 years old and a Journalist covering entertainment in Nigeria which meant I must always be at events. I had little time to get involved in the baby’s life but I changed that with others who came when I was running my own media company.
Doting dads are present fathers. You can’t afford to be an absentee dad, use your weekends to get involved! Wondering what you can do? Cool, help change pampers, feed the baby, and hold your baby as often as you can.
Always bend to talk to toddlers and listen with your ears
Toddlers want their dad to be like them, be their best friend and confidant. A dad will have to act like a kid to become a doting dad. Bending down to your child’s height when you want to talk or listen to the child physically brings you to their level and makes them feel your attention is focused on them.
If you are observant, you will know that kids most times want to talk into your ears, they want undivided attention.
Know the right time to listen, talk, and correct
Timing is key in being a doting dad. As a father, you must learn how to act at the right time. Know the time to listen, the time to talk to them, and very importantly, know the right time to correct them.
Many fathers are seen by their children as monsters in the home because when it comes to using the rod to discipline the child, mothers step back and front the dad after which the kids get comforted by mum.
This makes the child see the mom as a friend and Godlike who forgives and comforts but the dad as the devil who punishes him or her for his or her sins.
Know the right time to step in as the man of the house, don’t abuse this office because you will pay for it in the future.
Before I take action on my kids who are all boys- 4 boys – I first listen, and correct with words at least three times before beating them. I want them to understand that I am not beating them because I can but I had to because they didn’t take correction after several opportunities.
Always touch your kids
Touch is powerful and very effective in creating unforgettable memories. A caress of their hair, a hand placed on their shoulder, hugs, pecks, etc are irreplaceable.
I discovered this trick early and have not stopped using it. It creates connections words can not explain. Don’t underestimate the power of touch!
To become a doting dad, you have to create your family tradition. Create activities that all your family members will take part in and enjoy like praying together, and family meal time, which I will talk about later. Family tradition gives everyone a sense of belonging and something to look forward to.
List of family traditions:
- Swim on the first Saturday of the month
- Make homemade gifts
- Go hiking in the same place or at the same time.
- Have a movie night.
- Visit the same restaurant
- Game time
- Take up a new activity as a family
- Movie nights
- Doing community work together
- Cook together
- Travel together
Never forget that your kids are human beings who have expectations and feelings. Your kids expect you to be there for them during their birthdays, sports activities at school, etc. They want someone they can depend on, talk to about their fears, and life aspirations, and still have fun with.
You must create hours out of your busy schedule to be with your kids…you brought them into this world, give them your attention.
Watch cartoons with them when you can, play ball, or do any leisure activities
with them, they will never forget.
Family mealtime is core
While growing up, my parents insisted that we ate together, we are a family of 9, 7 children. My mother paired us in twos, we ate at the same time. This practice made us learn how to share things without fighting.
I can tell you that it made us bond together and I have continued this with my boys. Let the kids eat from one plate.
Benefits of kids eating together
- It teaches them to share
- It teaches them to enjoy being together
- It reduces aggression toward each other
- It creates a high level of bond because people love who they eat with
- It removes the “mine” syndrome
Praise their creative and educational exploits
A doting dad will know when his kid is doing well and he will not hesitate to massage the ego of the child with a dose of praise. You need to show your love for the efforts they put into their education, arts, or hobbies. Tell them you are proud of the results. This helps to make them appreciate that hard work always gets rewarded.
It also makes them feel you care about their personal interests and will feed their passion for greatness with you as the one they are trying to make proud.
Teach your family about your family tree
A doting dad ensures the history of his family is passed down to the next generation. You have to make sure that the history your children remember about your family is directly from you. Create a family tree, and tell them about your family history and tradition. Show them pictures of their forefathers and mothers, it makes them rooted.
Like I said earlier, to be a doting dad is not hard but requires planning and commitment. No man was born a doting dad, they all decided to be one, and you can too.
Take this lesson and run with it.