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12 ways to be a better dad MySpace Layouts

What do I do with a three-year-old who's grabbing my trouser leg just
as I am on an important call?'

'I don't really want to play house-house or hide and seek or football
after a long, hard day at work.'

'I'd rather watch the news/ financial channels, instead of watching

'How am I going to get this adamant child to eat his food?'

'Isn't this all in the mommy's domain? Isn't my role that a

And that last is a wail for help! If these questions plague you, then
you must be a Dad. And here's what you can do to remove the struggle
out of being Daddy.

1. Spend time with your children
How much time a father spends with his children tells them how
important they are to him. Spend at least 15 minutes everyday having
FUN with your children on a one to one basis, more when you can.

Find something that both of you enjoy, be it a sport, board games,
laughing together, tickling, dancing, painting� absolutely anything
that is fun for both of you!

Remember, just filling their cupboards with toys and other material
things is not going to build the bond, spending time together is what
will get you closer.

2. Respect your children

Talk politely to your children. It is very important for us to
respect to them if we want them to respect us.

Listening to them when they are talking, not interrupting their
conversations, allowing them to make some of their own decisions, all
go a long way in showing respect.

3. Communication is important

Talk to your children. Talk about their day-to-day routines and
tell them about yours. Be aware of your child's life, know their
friends, the activities they do, their hobbies, and their interests.
Get to really know your children.

4. Don't just hear, LISTEN
When children talk, what they are saying is very important to them.
Don't jump in and start giving advice, just listen to them. Try and
understand the feelings behind the words.

Even if the talk seems childish patter to you, it is very important
to listen, to really listen to your children.
Be available for them. Keep the newspaper aside, switch off the
television, put your mobile on silent. Maintain eye contact and give
them your undivided attention.

This will tell your children how important they are to you. It will
go a long way in increasing their self-esteem and also set the stage
for more meaningful conversations, as your child grows older.

Though if your children come to you at one of those times when you
are really busy, tell them you will listen to them once you are done.
Fix up a time -- it could be half an hour later -- to listen to what
they have to say, and make sure to follow through with it.

5. Teach and encourage

Many times fathers think teaching is something their spouses or the
school has to do. But a father who teaches his children about right
and wrong, and encourages them to do their best, will see his
children make good choices.

Fathers who are involved in the daily routines will teach their
children the basic values of life through everyday examples.

6. Discipline with love

All children need guidance and discipline, not as punishment, but to
set reasonable limits.
Discipline should always come from a place of love to teach the
children responsible behaviour.

You have to keep in mind that as the child grows older, the freedom
should be increased and the limits have to be reduced. Take something
as simple as bedtime. An older child can stay up till a much later
time than a younger one.

Use choices where possible, though always remember that the choices
given should be acceptable to you. Use positive forms of discipline
such as logical consequences; wherein the consequence is connected to
the misbehaviour.

For example, if the crayons are not put in the box after using them,
the child loses the privilege of using them for maybe two days. Be
sure to discuss this with your child beforehand and follow through
with it the next time the situation occurs.

7. Demonstrate your love

Children need the security of being loved and accepted by their
families. Showing affection is a wonderful way to demonstrate the
love you have for your child. Hug them, kiss them and be there for
them at all times.

Let them know they have your unconditional love and support. This
will strengthen the parent-child bond and make your discipline and
communication an easier process.

8. Respect your child's mother

One of the best things a father can do for his children is to respect
their mother. If you are married, keep your marriage strong. Show
your love and affection for your spouse. When you have a conflict,
demonstrate how two people can make up. This teaches your children a
lot about relationships.

If you are divorced, it is still important to respect the mother of
your children. Don't ever badmouth your spouse in front of the
children. When children see you respecting each other, they are more
likely to feel accepted and respected as well.

9. Eat together as a family

Mealtimes are special times for bonding as a family. Sharing a meal
together is an important part of healthy family life (breakfast,
lunch or dinner).

Besides providing stability to busy days, it is a wonderful
opportunity for the entire family to share the happenings of their
lives with each other. It is a time of togetherness and strengthening
the family ties.

10. Take your children for outings

Take your children to the zoo, museums, the beach. Take them for
walks; take them swimming, bowling, to the park. Take them to the
temple. Fly kites with them, play Holi with them.

Give them your undivided attention and take the opportunity to teach
them at these times. Spend time on a one-to-one basis or as a family.
But, most importantly, enjoy yourself with them!

11. Be involved in your children's lives and make them feel important

Give priority to your children over other things and other people.
Attend parents' days, sports day, annual day celebrations and any
events they are participating in or which are important to them.

No matter what you say to them, children know you would give your
time to those things and those people who are important to you.
Remember this the next time you have to take a decision on whether to
attend an event that is important to your child.

Being a part of their important days will not only build your child's
self esteem but also go a long way in strengthening your relationship
with them.

12. Be a good role model

Practise what you preach. Don't tell your kids that honesty is the
best policy and then ask your spouse to say you are not at home when
an unwanted person calls.

Children will model themselves on your actions more than your words.

When you make promises, even to your children, follow through with
them. Be the same
man behind closed doors as you are in public. This will increase the
respect your children have for you.