Thursday, December 25, 2008

Men's Health - 10 Steps to Be a Better Father

Not being a father myself, I can't really tell you too much about that most important role a man may ever play in his life, but it seems Men's Health can. Based on my limited knowledge about parenting (having come from pretty lousy parents), this seems like good advice. Not all of it is profound (like not dancing, or not riding amusement park rides [I disagree with this one, depending on the age of the child]) but some of this is important.

Being Christmas and all, the best gift we ever give our kids is being loving, caring, nurturing, and open parents -- every day of the year.

10 Steps to Be a Better Father

I have found the fundamental laws of fatherhood. Skeptics said it couldn’t be done. Fatherhood is too complicated, they cried, to be reduced to capsule form. But the complexity only added intrigue to my search for guiding principles. After all the emotion, all the yelling, all the laughter, I have distilled the duties and demands down to a decade of Daddy dicta. Herewith, on behalf of all God’s children and the men who love them, the Ten Commandments of Dad.
Follow the links to read each item.

I liked this piece of advice:
The kids ought to know what the old man would think about this or that. You are the anvil on which they hammer out their deal with the world. Be a presence in their lives—and their minds.
And this one, because it's one my father never did -- learning to say "I don't know" or "I was wrong" or "I'm sorry" are some of the greatest skills a man can learn.
I told you, fatherhood is complicated. Don’t be so big that you suck all the air out of the room. Give your kids a little space to move around in, to test their thoughts and strengths. Take a back seat, figuratively speaking, three or four times a week. Say, "Maybe." Say, "I don’t know." Now and then, tell the kids you’re sorry. There are plenty of things to apologize for: anger, inattention, bad career planning, lack of whatever. Mean it. Be sorry.

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