What kind of father do you want to be?

March 15, 2022

Throughout the decades, the role of fathers has evolved into something very different than what it looked like 30 years ago. The modern-day father comes in many various forms. The traditional family structure has shifted, and with more moms working than ever before, the need for fathers to be hands-on has taken shape.

Today’s father might be married or single, work outside the home, or stay-at-home. He may be an adoptive dad or a stepparent. A lot has changed over time, but the one thing that hasn’t changed is the need for fathers to be a present and positive force in their children’s lives.

Building a solid relationship with your child comes through time and trust.  Children need to know that they can trust and rely on their father and that ultimately, they matter.  A strong father-child bond creates a healthy attachment, which leads to a confident and secure child.  Children thrive when they have a strong connection to their fathers.

In a world full of influencers, you can choose to be one of the greatest influencers in your child’s life.  If you are a new father or want to strengthen the relationship with your children, here are some tips to help you navigate the road ahead.

  • Spend time with your child. How a father spends his time reveals to his child what is important to him. Kids grow up quickly and the time to bond is now. The more time you spend with them when they are little, the more they will want to spend time with you as they get older.
  • Discipline with love and positive parenting. All children need positive guidance and discipline, not as punishment, but to set reasonable limits. Dads should remind children of the consequences of their actions and positively acknowledge desirable behavior. Fathers who discipline in a calm and fair manner show love for their children.
  • Be your child’s role model. Fathers are role models to their kids. A girl who spends time with a loving father grows up knowing she deserves to be treated with respect by boys and she learns what to look for in a partner. Fathers teach boys and girls what is important in life by demonstrating honesty, humility, and responsibility.
  • Earn the right to be heard. Fathers should begin conversations with their children about important topics when they are very young so that difficult subjects will be easier to handle as they get older. Take time to listen to your child’s ideas and problems.  Be patient and show them that you’ve heard them and that you care.
  • Be your child’s teacher. To be a good father, educate your children about right and wrong and encourage them to do their best. See that your children make good choices. Involved fathers use everyday examples to help children learn the basic lessons of life.
  • Eat together as a family. An important part of healthy family life is bonding through family meals. It gives kids the chance to talk about what they are doing and want to do. It is also a good time for fathers to listen and be involved. It provides a structure for families to be together each day.
  • Read to your child. In a modern world dominated by television and the internet, it is important that fathers make the effort to read to their children in order to grow lifelong readers. Begin reading when they are very young and as they get older, encourage them to read on their own. Instilling a love of reading is one of the best ways to ensure children will have a lifetime of literacy and personal and career growth.
  • Respect the other parent of your child. Parents who respect each other, and demonstrate mutual respect to their children, provide a secure environment for them. When children see parents respecting each other, they are more likely to feel that they are also accepted and respected within the father-child relationship.  Even if you are separated and no longer in the relationship, it is very important to speak respectfully of the other parent.
  • Seek involvement early. Show interest early by understanding a father’s role during pregnancy. Fatherhood starts long before a baby is brought home from the hospital.  If you are able, try and attend any appointments related to the pregnancy.  For example, attending ultrasound appointments will not only show support for the mother of the child but also give you a unique window into the ever-changing developments that occur with the baby during pregnancy.


So, what kind of father do you want to be?  Options Health offers a program created just for fathers.  FIT (Fathers In Training) is a free program that will challenge you to be the best father you can be by walking alongside you through our skill-building classes and mentorship.  In addition to FIT, we have a wonderful parenting program for moms, called Earn While You Learn (EWYL)EWYL is a free program that provides education, emotional support, and material resources to new and expectant mothers through the toddler years of their baby’s life.

If you or someone you know would like to enroll in either of these programs, please contact us today.  We look forward to empowering and equipping you!