Father Nature

By: Mark J Stevens

You don't have to show off or be something you are not. To be a super dad, lead by example. Children love to imitate. Not only do they copy the way you swim and paint, they also observe very precisely your daily attitude and how you treat family, friends, and strangers. You therefore influence your children immensely-for better or for worse.

So be aware of how you treat others. Create loving surroundings for your children by being friendly and patient. Don't bring your problems home from work. It is especially important to be friendly and patient with our own family. This will create a nice atmosphere in your home.

Don't expect too much from your children. Give them your love and support and give their creativity a chance. Don't live through your children. Let them decide which hobbies or sports they like to pursue and show them that you love them all the same. If they fall, catch them. If they stray from their path, give them a nudge in the right direction.

That surely doesn't mean you should always let your children do what they want. You and your wife should work in harmony to set the rules. This will create a harmonious environment. Your children will ask you on occasion why they have to do their math homework or go to bed at 9 p.m. If you and your wife are synchronized, the children will quickly sense that you are setting the rules in their own interest.

When your children complete their homework (or phase 1 thereof) and chores, it's time to play! Stop worrying and let the child in you run free, Dad. Break down the barriers between the generations. Life is not always a serious matter. Jump around. Be a fun dad. Let your children ride on your choo-choo train back or kick the ball around. Don't be afraid to get dirty with your children in the sandbox. You were not born in a museum, Dad!

Talk to your children about the day or the week, or simply about whatever is on their minds. Compare notes with your wife. It is important to know what our children are thinking before we can truly understand them and build that one-of-a-kind Father-Child relationship you both want and deserve.

Fatherhood
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