Ok, you will notice that I wrote awesome dad and not responsible father. There are already plenty of those articles and frankly, I'm no child psychologist.
No, I'm simply a son of a father and a dad of three kids. With a few first hand tips on what I have observed over the years. And if your kids are happy the chances are, that they will think you're an awesome dad.
So below are my 5 tips for being an awesome dad.
1. Talk to your kids – not at them
Believe it or not but they may actually be smarter than you think. A great tip here is seeking their opinion on something, and getting them to explain why, before you tell what you think.
It will teach them to consider their own opinion more and justify it to another. It may even give you another perspective on the matter.
2. Remove fear – with an open door policy
If your child fears you then they are much more likely to withhold information or lie. If you don't know the truth of a situation about your child how are you supposed to guide them for the future?
It's one thing to say to your child "You know you can tell me anything right?" and it's another to mean it. You may feel it's sincere however once the trust is broken by one angry retort it can take many years to rebuild.
For added assurance make sure there is another adult that they can go to for guidance when they are simply embarrassed or afraid to come to you.
3. Consider carefully when you say 'not now'
We have all heard the song "Cats in the cradle" by Cat Stevens where he paints a picture of how fleeting our time is with our children. This sentiment is often echoed by anyone with teenage children as they see a young family.
At some stage in their development, as much as they may love you, they will prefer the company of their hobby's, friends, boyfriends or girlfriends. Consider this every time you say "not now" as it may really mean "not ever".
Grab them now and spend all the time with them that you can. You will miss it greatly when it's gone.
4. Find a safe conversational landing ground
I speak to my father usually at least 3-4 times per week. If we had no common ground then these calls would be very short indeed.
They would probably go something along the lines of "How are you?" he would say. "Great, How are you?" I would say. "Great" insert awkward silence.
We do however both love the same football team and have similar jobs so we have a rich fertile grounding for our conversations. We talk about the players, their injuries, upcoming games and while it might not be deep emotional conversation we are spending quality time together which makes my day every time.
I try to understand my kids passions so that I can talk to them in the same way.
5. Make them feel important
If your child does not have a say in their life then how will they grow to become a responsible adult? Let them be involved in some of the decisions for the family.
Also find opportunities to trust them to do things by themselves even if they will need to be cleaned up by you later.
Even the smallest contribution from a child can have a big impact.
These 5 tips are just the start.
Help us compile a full list of awesome dad tips by commenting below with your suggestion or any feedback you may have to ours.