Fatherhood is an awesome thing. And being a great dad is even more wonderful. However while there is no one size fits all approach to fatherhood, there are a sizable number of habits that you probably have, which you wouldn’t want your children to pick up if you can help it. These habits may seem not to matter, but you wouldn’t want to raise children with deeply ingrained bad behaviours now and in the nearest future. Do you?
We all have/had fathers, whether we knew them or not. And most of us are Dads too, or would eventually become one. Knowing these habits and working on them at whatever stage of life we are in could probably be the difference between being a great dad and a not so great one. Here are a few.
1. You are Drinking A Tad Too Much
We don’t need to be told that drinking too much is unhealthy. But beyond your health, there is a big chance that your children will emulate you. The influence can occur directly or indirectly. You are the closest mentor your kids have, and they sincerely believe that everything you do is the best thing to do.
Studies have also shown that prospective fathers, who drink regularly, might negatively affect pre-conception and post-conception. Heavy drinking by a father pre-conception can cause infertility. Yes, high alcohol use can lead to physical problems which might surface when the child is older.
For prospective fathers, few months leading up to planned conception, alcohol consumption should be reduced to the barest minimum to allow new and healthy sperm cells to be produced.
2. The Chimney Attitude
Modelling a good behaviour for your children is very important and cannot be undermined. Someone once said; “Children are like Glass… they show us what they see.”
But apart from that, lots of children are exposed to the risk of Second-hand smoke(SHS) in their houses.
Fathers who smoke outside their houses still expose their children to the chemicals in Second-hand smoke as their lungs are still developing and tender. The problem with smokes, cigarettes and every other substance is how quickly they can become addictions. This will almost always kill the male picture we show our kids especially the boys; a picture of Men under control not Men in control…Sad really
Second hand smoke on its own is very dangerous as well. Young children are most affected by SHS and least able to avoid it.
Studies show that children whose parents smoke; get sick more often, have more lung infections (like bronchitis and pneumonia), are more likely to cough, wheeze, have shortness of breath, and get more ear infections. SHS can also trigger asthma attacks, make asthma symptoms worse, and even cause new cases of asthma in kids who didn’t have symptoms before.
In the event where the habit is really hard to kick, it may become necessary to transition to electronic cigarettes. It may not have the same strength as what you are used to, but it can be a way to kick the habit gradually while avoiding the exposure of your kids to Tobacco. I mean, e-cigars only emit flavours which are pleasant.
3. You Are Addicted To Work
A friend of mine got the reality check one day when he drove home to pick up some stuff he needed at work. It was already late afternoon and he was about to Jet back to the office, when his four year old daughter went to the fridge and brought some candy bars (which he bought by the way); “Daddy, I will give you these, if you stay with us today”.
Clearly it is your role as a father to provide for the family, but it’s also its more so your role to be a father … no brainer right? Take a break sometime … spend quality time with them by taking them to the gym or the park, playing some indoor sports, or peek-a-boo;, it can help you bond while easing the tension on you as well.
4. You Are Struggling With Poor Diet
Children learn behavioral patterns from their parents. For instance, research in growing childhood obesity has shown that parents’ eating patterns affect their child’s eating behaviour. In plain language, telling a kid to eat his veggies is not as effective as eating veggies with them. Clutching a burger and a Coke kind of kills the instruction.
Parenting is modelling remember?
5. Aggressive behavior
Aggressiveness and authoritative behaviour isn’t a good look for anyone who wants to raise well-rounded children he will be proud of tomorrow. Aggressive behaviour or hostile aggressive parenting affects the behavioural disposition of children. And these effects can be seen in how they interact at school and with their peers.
Many men blame their tendency to be aggressive, violent and controlling on the hormone (testosterone) in their biological makeup. This is just an excuse.
Men are known for doing the ‘hard’ things. This includes leading without aggression.
You don’t want to raise aggressive kids, do you? Then kick the habit. Get milder. Keep that temper, nobody wants it
6. Bad Financial Habits
Frivolous spending, a lack of savings, not budgeting, and lifestyle inflation, are all bad financial habits every father, prospective or not needs to let go off. Studies show that 39% of kids will eventually ask their fathers questions involving money.
As a father, there is need to consistently teach your children good financial lessons that would ensure they have a smooth sail. The economic terrain is a tough and not having enough finance yourself, to fund the household is one hell of a financial lesson in itself.
Being a great dad is a lifelong commitment and 80% of it is done by watching yourself.