Categories

7 Habits of Highly Effective Fathers

In his book, “The Power of Habit,” Charles Duhigg argues that the key to losing weight, raising exceptional children, becoming more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. I tend to agree with his assessment.

Habits are powerful factors in our lives. They shape our personalities and identify our priorities. As a dad, I have developed both good and bad parenting habits. On one hand, I’m dedicated to reading a bedtime story to my kids every night. Even when I travel, I connect to Skype or Facetime to make sure that my kids and I don’t miss our story time. On the other hand, I have a bad habit of getting so consumed in my work that I become dismissive of my kids’ needs.

aristotle habit quoteWhen I notice a bad habit has taken root in my life, I work hard to replace it with something more aligned with core principles and beliefs. I’m sure that many dads share my struggle. If we’re not careful, bad habits can become permanent and control our lives. Developing the right habits is crucial to our success as parents. Just as world-class athletes are habitual in their training, dads must also focus on the habits that make a difference in our children’s lives. By focusing on the correct habits, we become empowered and effective.

Over the years, I’ve discovered seven habits that have helped me to be a more effective father.

nggallery template=’carousel’ id=’131444′

  • 7 Habits of High Effective Fathers 1 of 8
    7 Habits of High Effective Fathers
    Fathers have a huge impact on their childrens' lives. These seven habits will help you to be the best dad that you can be.
  • Have Fun 2 of 8
    Have Fun
    Having fun not only makes you feel better physiologically, but it can actually improve your health. Take the time to make funny faces, dance, play dolls, build a fort, or toss around a football. Kids enjoy it when their dads act silly and play with them. These are the moments that your kids will cherish forever.
    Photo via Stock.xchng
  • Work Hard 3 of 8
    Work Hard
    Hard work is good for the soul. Not only does it give us a sense of purpose, but it also allows us to set an example for our children. Whether it's on the job, at home or in the community, teaching our kids the value of hard work will help them to develop a strong work ethic and become productive citizens.
    Photo via Stock.xchng
  • Show Affection 4 of 8
    Show Affection
    In previous generations, the most affection that kids received from their dads was a pat on the back. But children need their dads to be affectionate. Shower them with kisses, give them big hugs, and say, "I love you" often.
    Photo via Stock.xchng
  • Serve Others 5 of 8
    Serve Others
    Whether you volunteer in your community or donate money to charity, fathers must demonstrate the importance of helping others. It can be as simple as showing kindess to a stranger, opening the door for someone, or helping a friend in need. It is our duty to show our children that we can make the world a better place if we all help one another.
    Photo by State Farm via Creative Commons license
  • Keep Your Marriage Strong 6 of 8
    Keep Your Marriage Strong
    Keeping your marriage strong gives your children a sense of security. In addition, showing your wife some appreciation helps to make her feel special.
    To keep the spark alive in your relationship, you must make a habit of scheduling dates with your spouse and communicating on a regular basis.
    Photo via Stock.xchng
  • Keep Learning 7 of 8
    Keep Learning
    While the on the job training is quite effective, fathers need to keep learning how to be better dads. Read books, visit parenting websites, attend seminars, and talk to other dads. We can all benefit from the experiences of others.
    Photo via Stock.xchng
  • Live a Healthy Lifestyle 8 of 8
    Live a Healthy Lifestyle
    To function at an optimal level, dads must maintain their health. This includes exercising, eating a healthy, and getting regular medical checkups. Also important, but often overlooked, is getting enough sleep. Most people need 7-9 hours a night but get far less. Over time, lack of sleep can increase your risk for many diseases including heart disease and stroke. Daily stress reduction techniques (it doesn't have to be yoga, just something that you find calming and relaxing) are key as well.
    Photo via Stock.xchng

Connect with Fred on his blog Mocha Dad or via Twitter and Facebook. You can also read more of his posts on Babble.

Tagged as: , , ,

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, profile photo and other personal information you make public on Facebook (e.g., school, work, current city, age) will appear with your comment. Learn More.