Respect and love your children’s mother: The relationship between a child and their mother is a special one and if you want your kids to be happy, then love and respect their mother. In case you are not in good terms with your child’s mother, the least you could do is to respect her and be cordial with her. Children are more likely to feel loved, secure, accepted and respected when they see their parents respecting and accommodating each other.

Be a role model: Fathers play a vital role in their children’s life, as they are a pillar of strength, discipline and support. A girl who spends time with her father grows knowing that she deserves to be treated with respect. Fathers can teach their sons what’s important in life by demonstrating honesty, humility and responsibility. All fathers want their children to turn out fine in future; being a good role model will help them find their way to greatness.

Discipline with love: One of the roles of a father is to be a disciplinarian. There are many ways to discipline one’s child and it is imperative that you discipline your child with love so as not to push them away, leading them to be delinquent. Develop a warm and loving relationship with your child so as to create a favourable environment for discipline. Remind your children of the consequences of their actions and provide meaningful rewards for desirable behaviour. Fathers who discipline in a calm and fair manner show love for their children. Inversely, harsh, negative discipline and not enough praise and rewards might make the children rebellious.

Spend time with your children: You can do everything in this world for your children to show them that you care but if you don’t spend time with them, then it’s all vanity. By spending time with your children, you show them that they come before anything else in your life and you’d rather be with them than anywhere else. Yes, money and work are essential but mind you they are not as important as your family. Also, children grow fast and missed opportunities are lost forever.

Share a meal with your family: There is a saying that a family that eats together stays together. True, sharing a meal helps people to connect. Make it a habit to share at least a meal everyday with your family be it breakfast, lunch or dinner and get to savour the warmth of family.

Realise that fatherhood is a lifetime job: Fatherhood is an endless and often times, thankless job. Your children will always come to you for guidance even when they are grown ups.

Never hurt your child: It is the height of cowardice and disgrace to fathers everywhere to hurt any child. It is impossible to be a great dad if you hurt your child. No father has a right to hurt any child physically, emotionally or sexually. Avoid using words that will damage their self-esteem such as calling them stupid, idiot or any name that will make them think of themselves lesser persons.

Protect them: As a dad, one of your main roles is to protect your family. You can do this in many ways such as ensuring they are secure and teaching them good safety habits. Remember, financial protection is also very important; take an insurance cover, have an emergency fund and write your will to cushion them against any eventuality.

Published June 2016