DAD AND ME
Mary Ruth Cross, MS, MFT, NCC, RPT-S
10 Tips How To Be A Happy Dad
My fondest memories of my own father is the amazing way he had of fixing any problem, even when it wasn’t a problem he needed to fix. When Dad retired he even became a handyman. He could fix anything. He often said “If it isn’t made by the angels I can fix it.” As we have learned from modern self-help books men and women really do operate differently.
Men are the fixers and doers of the family whereas women are the relationship builders, or at least that is what has been traditionally true. Families are growing and changing in so many dynamic ways. Families can consist of a traditional set of mother and father or different combinations of step parents, or same gender parents. Whatever it is what is most important to remember is that of the role of parent.
In this issue we are focusing on the Dads of a child’s life. For many children that “dad” may be their biological father or a man that is important in their life, who is their biggest cheerleader, great source of humor and of course has strong and healthy boundaries. Our busy world makes it hard to be an effective parent. Many dads have to travel a lot or work extra-long hours to support the family and this reduces quality of life for everyone.
Given the heavy demands of being a parent and especially in this case a father, here are a few suggestions on how to be a happy Dad, as we celebrate Father’s Day.
- Turn off the phone and electronics so that you can have uninterrupted time with your kids.
- Make sure you show up at the little league or volleyball games and cheer really loud so your wonderful child knows that Dad is in the stand routing for him/her.
- Take time to slow down and listen to your child. They are amazing people and they really do want you to see how wonderful they are. They love you more than words can say.
- Make time for a Dad and Me day – even if you have more than one child try to spend some one on one time with each child to make them feel special – it will rub off on you.
- Set good limits and be sure to hold healthy and fair boundaries about their behaviors – that makes them trust you more.
- Be consistent – this is so important; kids are wonderfully manipulative so a consistent healthy response keeps it all in check.
- Don’t forget to laugh and enjoy each other.
- Take family vacations (without the electronics) like a camping trip – it makes everyone get to know each other better and build marvelous family memories. You don’t have make an expensive outing, just one that is memorable.
- Learn what is important to your child. Each one is unique and may need to be communicated with in a different way from the others.
- Trust that your love is enough and they want it all.
Treehouse Family Counseling Services is here to support you and your entire family thrive. So when you need to ask a question or figure out how to do something differently please don’t hesitate to give us a call.