The art of being a good dad: 7 traits that show you’re really good at parenting

Ethan Sterling by Ethan Sterling | June 16, 2024, 10:09 pm

Being a good dad is more than just being a provider or being present; it’s an art that requires skill, patience, and understanding.

The difference between being just a father and a good dad is how effectively you play your role in your child’s life.

Being a good dad isn’t about always doing the right thing, but rather about being there for your child and showing them through your actions how to be a great human being.

We’ll delve into what it takes to truly excel in fatherhood.

1) Active listener

Active listening involves more than just hearing the words your child speaks. It’s about understanding their thoughts, their fears, and their hopes. It’s about engaging with them on a deeper level, showing genuine interest in what they have to say.

Think about it. Every time your child shares something with you, it’s an opportunity for you to strengthen your bond with them, to show them that they are valued and that their opinions matter.

When your child feels heard and understood, they’re more likely to open up, trust you and share more in the future.

2) Patience is key

Let me tell you about a personal experience. My daughter once took an interest in painting. She’d spend hours mixing colors, spilling paint everywhere, and creating what she called her “masterpieces.”

Honestly, it was messy. The cleanup was no picnic and her creations were… abstract, to say the least. But the joy and pride on her face were worth every stained carpet.

I realized then that patience wasn’t just about enduring the mess or the noise. It was about giving my child the room to explore, make mistakes, and learn from them.

3) Being a role model

One trait that can’t be overlooked in good parenting is being a role model. Children often mirror the behavior of their parents – both the good and the bad.

Research shows that children are more likely to adopt habits and attitudes of their parents. For instance, a child whose parents read regularly is more likely to develop a love for reading.

Being a good dad involves setting a positive example for your child in every aspect of life – from how you treat others to how you handle stress and setbacks.

4) Flexibility

Life is unpredictable and so is parenting. Plans change, emergencies occur, and sometimes things just don’t go as expected.

You may have planned a weekend trip, but then your child falls sick. Or maybe you’ve prepared a special dinner, only to find out your kid has developed a sudden dislike for broccoli.

In such situations, flexibility is key. It’s about adjusting your plans and expectations according to the situation without getting frustrated or upset.

5) Empathy and understanding

Empathy is a vital trait for any parent. It’s the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, in this case, your child.

Children, especially young ones, often have difficulty expressing their emotions. A good dad is one who can tune into these unspoken feelings and respond with understanding.

For instance, if your child is throwing a tantrum over something seemingly trivial, it’s essential to understand that their feelings are real and valid for them. Instead of dismissing their emotions or getting angry, empathize with their frustration and help them navigate through it.

6) Unconditional love

At the heart of being a good dad is the trait that holds everything together – unconditional love.

Love that doesn’t judge, that doesn’t diminish with mistakes or shortcomings. Love that is constant, unwavering, and provides a safe haven for your child, no matter what.

Being a dad isn’t just about teaching and guiding; it’s about loving your child in such a way that they feel secure, cherished, and valued.

It’s the kind of love that gets you up in the middle of the night to soothe a nightmare, that sits through countless school plays and sports games, that comforts through heartbreaks and celebrates victories.

7) Perseverance

The journey of being a good dad is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. It’s about persevering through the challenges and constantly striving to be better.

I recall a time when my son was struggling with his math homework. Despite my best efforts to explain, he just couldn’t grasp the concept. I felt frustrated and questioned my abilities as a dad. But I realized giving up wasn’t an option.

So, I researched different teaching methods, sought help from his teacher and even learned new ways to make math fun. Eventually, his grades improved, but more importantly, he learned the value of perseverance.

Final thoughts: The heart of fatherhood

Being a good dad isn’t about perfection. It’s about loving your child unconditionally, in ways that foster their growth, nurture their dreams, and affirm their worth.

As you move forward in your journey of fatherhood, remember this: Your love is the most significant gift you can give your child. It’s the foundation upon which all these traits rest.