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Admitting when you're wrong builds more character than "doing the right thing" every single time. If you want your children to help out around the house, then you should help out around the house, too, no matter how all-consuming your job may be. Let them see you doing the dishes, cleaning the counters, and vacuuming the carpet, and they'll want to help out too. If they think that cleaning up is just "Mom's job," then they'll be much less likely to help out when the time comes. Helping out around the house will not only make your wife happy, but it'll help your children see that you and your wife work as a team and that they should join in.

Respect is earned, not given, and you should do what you can so that your children respect you as a father. If you're not around a lot, yell at their mother, or are only occasionally in the mood to discipline them, then they won't respect you just because you're their father. You should act in a way that is admirable, honest, and consistent so that your children see that you're a model father and a person worthy of their admiration. Your children shouldn't worship you and think you're perfect -- they should see that you're only human and want to do well by them.

Though you may think being a good role model means being slightly distant but always doing the right thing, it actually means being connected enough to give your children kisses and hugs, and to let them know how much they mean to you. Don't let a day go by without saying "I love you," giving your children physical affection, and letting them know how much they mean to you.

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Your children long for love and affection from you, no matter what age they are. Praise your children and let them know that your life wouldn't be the same without them. Help out around the house. Tell them to do as you say and not as you do. Cover up your mistakesPart4 Being Understanding. Though you may have wanted your children to keep running the family business, attend your alma mater, or be a high school soccer star like you were, you have to accept the fact that your children are their own people with their own needs and desires, and that they may not align with yours.

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You may think that your path is the only way to happiness, but to be a good father, you have to accept that your children may have a different idea of how to run their lives. Though you may think that you're doing your best by telling your children what to do or how to live their lives, you're actually hurting their independence by trying to control them.

It takes time to accept your children's desires. If you try to control your children too much, they'll resent you and will stop opening up.

Let your children make their own decisions by letting them be independent and open-minded. You may want them to play baseball, but sign them up for a variety of activities and let them decide what they like best. Heard it's a baby girl boy? Time to stuff your house with toys!

Dear Dad: Letters from an Adult Child: Louie Anderson: Books

Now all day will be baby's days! This is such a great news! There is nothing prouder than holding little one in your arms. Wishing you the best of luck on changing nappies and feeding times! Congratulations to the luckiest dad in the world! The arrival of child marks a new chapter of life for you and your loving wife. Best wishes to both of you and your new baby!

Congrats, new daddy, and good luck! Little babies grow up quick so be sure to cherish every minute. To be a good father, you have to understand that your children aren't growing up in the same environment that you were raised in -- even if you're raising them in the same time. With globalization, the influence of social media, and the changing politics in today's society, it's likely that your children are less sheltered than you are and are more aware of the problems and changes in today's society.

Therefore, be aware that things like body piercing, premarital sex, and world travel are more common today than they were in your time. Accept that your children are a product of the times and that they may want to explore the world more than you did. You may feel like you know exactly how the world should work, but you should let your children express themselves and share their perspectives with you.


If you want to be an understanding father, then you have to accept that, like you, your children aren't perfect, and that they're bound to make mistakes. Life is full of mistakes that help your children learn, and you should accept that many lessons are necessary -- whether your son gets into a minor car accident, fails a test because he didn't study, or made a foolish purchase with his savings. If you don't let your children fail once in a while, then they won't learn anything. Though you may want to shelter and protect them, letting them make their own mistakes will help them make more informed decisions.

You should still discipline your children appropriately when they make a mistake, but you should also talk about what they did wrong and let them see the error of their ways instead of just yelling at them. If you want to be a good father, then you have to be aware of when your children are having a particularly hard time and be attentive to your needs. Maybe your little girl is struggling because you moved to a new town and she doesn't have any friends, or maybe your son is going through his first break-up and is emotionally wiped.

Though you can't completely excuse your children's distant or emotional behavior, you should be aware of what's going through their heads so you can be more understanding and talk to them when they're struggling.

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Just saying, "I know you're having a hard time. Want to talk about it? Try putting yourself in your child's shoes. If you're frustrated, understanding where your child is coming from will help you understand his behavior. A child's life can be filled with pressures, from siblings to kids at school to teachers to coaches. Help your child understand their desires and assess their capabilities and limitations.

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Help them set achievable goals. Encourage them to meet their full potential but avoid living vicariously through them by expecting them to achieve what you had achieved or hoped to have achieved. Do not assume that once your children turn 21, or they have a college degree, that your work raising them is done. Although it is important to encourage your children to become financially and emotionally independent, it is also important to let them know that you care and are always there for them and that they are valued.

Being present for the important moments in your children's lives is very important, and so is being able to communicate with your children when you're there. You don't always have to do something exciting with your kids for them to enjoy hanging out with you, you just have to focus on being able to communicate with them to understand their concerns and struggles. Make sure to check in with your kids every day, so that you know what they're worried about, what they have coming in that week, and what's on their minds.

Don't just superficially ask, "How was your day? If your children are teenagers or busy college students, then they may not want to discuss the details of their days with you. Just make sure to check in often enough that they know you care without feeling smothered. To be a good father, you should take the time to go trips with your kids -- with or without their mother.

You can take a yearly fishing trip with your daughters, a trip to the beach with your son, or a camping trip that your kids will never forget. Whatever you do, try to make it special, memorable, and something that can be repeated at least once a year so that you've developed a fun daddy-centric routine. If the children's mother is present during the trips, take some time to bond solo with your kids when you can. Planning these trips a few months in advance will give your kids something fun and different to look forward to. Shelter them from the things you were sheltered from as a kid. Put yourself in their shoes.

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Protect them from making mistakes. Question How do I cope with the loss of my own father and still be a good father? Community Answer Seek counseling if possible, share memories of your father with your own kids and use him as an inspiration for raising your children.

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Community Answer Talk to them. If you want to understand your children, you must communicate with them. Try to understand they are not perfect and are flawed human beings just like everyone else. Realize your children are not you and may make decisions for themselves that differ from yours; however, try to support their decisions regardless.