6 Tips For Dad On Father’s Day

June 8, 2017

So, you’re a dad. Or maybe you hope to be one in the future.

The reality is that there is there is no real road map for success, especially if you’re a single father or in the process of divorce. The good news is that it is entirely possible to be a great father, regardless of the circumstances that may surround you.  Here are 6 tips to help you along the way:

1. Provide Structure For Your Children

Be consistent – follow through on your promises; let your children know they can rely on you; meet your children’s expectations.

Children need to know what time dinner will be, what time bedtime will be, what the rules are for homework, and what the rules are for playing with friends.  Of course, you can be flexible, but children need parents to set the structure and stick to it.

2. Think About Your Childhood

Be mindful of the way you wanted to be treated when you were your child’s age.Think about how your dad treated you when you were young.  What did he do to discipline you, to encourage you, and to mold you?

If your dad was great, now is your chance to follow in his footsteps. If your dad was not so great, now is your chance to not make the same mistake with your children.  Provide your child with a level of love, structure, and understanding that your own dad will envy.

Here are some ideas—start a family game night; play sports together; have a weekly movie night.

3. Take Care of Yourself

Eat right, exercise, take vitamins, and take vacations regularly.  With regard to vacations, spend some time with your child once a week planning the details of your next vacation. Pull out maps, look up exotic places online.

Don’t work too hard or leave no time for leisure.  If you are happy with yourself, you will project this onto your children and set expectations for them.

4. Volunteer At Your Child’s School

Taking time at least once a year to volunteer at your child’s school is a great way to show your child that you care.

Try volunteering to be a chaperone on a field trip or at school functions. Becoming a member of the PTA is an excellent way to meet your children’s friends, their parents, and learn more about what they are doing at school.

5. Find Good Friends

Considerate, responsible, dependable, and trustworthy friends go a long way toward leading a full, healthier, and happier life.

Surround yourself with good people who take care of themselves and keep their commitments.  Moreover, don’t be afraid to ask your friends for help.  Separation and a divorce process can be an isolating time for a father.

6. Communicate With Your Children

Your children need to know what you are thinking and they need to know you care.

Keep communicating with them; show up to their extracurricular activities and praise them.  Help you children with their homework.  If you feel ashamed of your divorce or ashamed of a broken relationship with your children, do not avoid them.  Your positive interactions with them will help with the process, and will also preserve a relationship for the years to come.

While each divorce situation is unique and different, the more a dad knows about what to expect, the better he can react.  Remember, you are shaping a young life.  Children are impressionable and you are their role model.  You hold the power to be your children’s hero, so do all you can to be a great dad.

Happy Father’s Day from the New Jersey family attorneys at Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, Trigg, O’Cathain & O’Cathain, LLC!