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How dad dates can help you become great mates

We know that being an effective father has a profound impact on kids, so what does it take to be a great dad?

Here’s a snapshot of Professor Bruce Robinson’s (director of the Fathering Project) top tips.

1. Dad dates

One of the simplest and most powerful strategies are one on one dad dates with one child at a time. But don’t fall into the trap of using it as an opportunity to have a deep and meaningful conversation.

2. Dad trips

Travel together, be away together and be intentional about spending this time together.

3. Be creative about making time with kids

Often men use work as an excuse for not spending time with their children. It is possible to be creative about making time, such as coming home and having dinner with the family with the TV off.

4. Help kids understand they are special

It may be their personality, their talents, the way they show kindness or interesting things they have done – make it a priority to understand what it is about each child that is unique.

5. Practise listening

Avoid being the plumber or the policeman. The plumber fixes things – you don’t always need to do that. The policeman makes judgements and arrests – avoid being judgemental and critical.

6. Get mobilised in the values war

Be specific with your children about values like trust, honesty, integrity, respect, racism and generosity to the poor.

7. Be involved in your children’s education

Critical to kids’ attitude to education is your attitude to their school and teachers. Praise the teachers in front of your children rather than criticise them.

8. Daughters are not the same as sons

The number one factor that determines the level of confidence a woman carries into adulthood is the relationship she had with her father. Girls are in tune to what their father or father figure thinks of them and it’s vital not to overlook this.

Read more of Professor Robinson’s tips for being a great father figure

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