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There are many names used to call fathers: father, dad, papa, pop, the old man, daddy. Some are more formal than others which often reflects the nature of the relationship. Fathers are not just an important part of family life, they are vitally necessary.
A mother’s role cannot be minimized in the family in any way, but a father’s good influence is critical to the success of his children as well.
Fathers have gotten a bad rap in the media. Think about the TV shows that portray fathers. With very few exceptions, modern fathers are portrayed as stupid, unnecessary, uninvolved, passive, weak, and not important to family dynamics.
- 72.2 million fathers in the United States.
- 24.6 million in a married two-person household with kids under 18
- 2 million single fathers
- 33% of all children live in a home without their birth father
The importance of a father’s presence in his children’s lives cannot be stressed enough.
- 90% of runaway and homeless children are from fatherless homes
- 70% of minors housed in state facilities are from fatherless homes
- 39% of inmates housed in jail are from homes with an absent father
The presence of a father (or father figure) in the home has broad effects. Here are some more statistics about the absence of fathers.
- 71% of all high school dropouts are from fatherless homes
- The percentage of minors in prison who grew up without a father is 85%
- Girls are more likely to have children as a teenager if they grow up without a father
- Girls develop stronger math skills when growing up with a father figure
- Boys get better grades in school when a father figure is active in their life
- The percentage of adolescents in substance abuse treatment facilities who are from fatherless homes is 75%
- 63% of youth suicides happen in households with an absent father
- Children are 4 times more likely to be in poverty from a lack of a father in the home
- Children have a higher rate of drug and alcohol abuse in homes without a father
As you can see from this information, the impact of the presence of fathers is far-reaching and affects every area of life. There is no substitute for a good father (or father figure) in a child’s life. I understand it is not always possible for a father to live with his children. My parents were divorced when I was 16 and I lived with my mother after that. However, fathers can still be highly involved in their children’s lives even if they do not live under the same roof.
There are many characteristics that a man can possess to be a good father but today I’m going to highlight 10 Qualities of a Good Father.
1. Good Provider / Hard-Working
A good father takes being a provider seriously. He will do what is necessary to provide for his family financially so their needs are met. Providing for the family doesn’t always look the same. For a stay-at-home dad, it could mean the children are cared for and the household is kept in order. In a more traditional model, fathers get a job and keep a job to provide for the family. Keeping a job over time demonstrates to his children a good work ethic and dependability.
A good father is moral meaning he has values and character that keep him from misconduct that could jeopardize his family life. This code of conduct keeps him from breaking the law. These principles guide his character so that he treats others with respect and his dealings with people are above board. He is honest and trustworthy and respected by his peers.
Good fathers are loving to their partners and children. A father’s love is fierce but gentle as he deals with his children and their issues. He is willing to sacrifice for his family and shows his love through his actions. He loves his children unconditionally and this forms a strong foundation for all the other good qualities he has. No matter what, in all situations, in every circumstance, a good father loves his children.
4. Good Role Model
A good father is a good role model for his children as they are watching him interact with the world. His children learn how to treat women by how their father treats their mother as well as how he treats his own mother. Everything a father does is being scrutinized by his children whether he realizes it or not.
Every attitude, expression, word, and action is noticed and cataloged in a child’s mind. Good fathers are aware of this and choose to live in such a way as to make their children proud to call him Dad.
Good fathers are open-minded toward their kids. They will listen to their kids before jumping to conclusions. They will not always agree with their children but will be open-minded enough to consider all sides and possibilities before passing judgment. A good father shows his children that there are many philosophies and perspectives in the world. He cares about fairness and justice and standing up for what is right. He is not afraid to accept people or situations that might not align with his beliefs but has a level of respect for everyone.
A good dad is a fun dad. He is not afraid to be silly and loves to play with his children. He enjoys having a tea party or playing ball if that is what makes his kids happy. He looks for ways to have fun and laugh together as a family. Joy is part of his life and he shares it with his loved ones. He doesn’t take himself too seriously but loves having a good time and enjoying life.
7. Verbally expressive
A good father is emotionally available and verbally expressive. He is not afraid to share his feelings and he is aware of his family dynamics and the feelings they may be experiencing. A good dad is willing to have difficult conversations in order to grow closer relationships with his children. He knows it’s important to show his kids that communication is a key to good relationships so he asks questions and listens to their answers in order to know them better. A good dad tells his children “I love you” on a regular basis.
8. Shares time with his kids
A good dad wants to spend time with his children. He thinks of creative ways to do things together. He is not selfish with his time but is willing to sacrifice in order to build memories with his kids. He shares his hobbies like sports or outdoor activities with his children so they can develop skills and learn to love them too. His children know he enjoys being with them and sharing time together.
Good fathers are dependable and trustworthy. They do what they say they will do and can be counted on to follow through. They have stability in their lives and share that stability with their children. If you are a divorced dad and share custody of your kids, it is so important that you keep your promises. If you have plans with your kids, make sure you follow through.
It is so important that you show up when you say you will as you are not only teaching your kids how to treat people but you hold their self-esteem in your hands. Good fathers build up their children by keeping the promises they make and by showing, time after time, that they can be counted on and trusted.
10. Involved in family life
Good dads are highly involved in family life around them. They know their kids, they work hard at understanding them and finding ways to connect with them. Good fathers understand how important their role is in leading by example. They understand that being connected to their kids gives them security and helps them feel loved. A distant father sends a negative message to his children, that they are not worth his time and energy.
There are so many more characteristics of good fathers. It was hard to narrow it down to 10 for this article. Honorable mentions are qualities like honesty, loyalty, firm but gentle, respectful and respected, and valiant. If there are qualities you feel are important that I missed, let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.