5 Things Single Dads Should Do Consistently

by Matt Haviland

As a father, I try to operate with the ever-present knowledge that my words matter, and often more than I realize. Of course, that isn’t easy; we all say things that are careless and insensitive sometimes. And often the challenges increase when you add the strong emotions and frustrations of being a single dad.

My last article described 5 things to avoid, and you can read that here. Now let’s look at more positive habits we can pursue—5 things to do that will help us be more affirming and encouraging for our kids and more peaceful with our exes and others.

Be prepared ahead of time.

The most effective strategy is to prepare yourself for potential conflict or frustration as part of everyday life, so you aren’t caught off guard by a tense situation. Your efforts to guard your heart, mind, and emotions will advantageously benefit your kids and your relationship with them. Dad, set the bar and take a few moments to plan what this may look like. Though you may not succeed here every time, I assure you, your efforts will not go unnoticed by your children.

Make it a constant pursuit.

As dads, our positive words to our kids should be continual, consistent, and delivered in a variety of ways—through notes, journals, texts, and in-person comments and conversations. Researchers Pitts and Socha state:

Positive communication is not defined as the absence of negative verbal and nonverbal communication, but rather the presence of positive, enhancing and facilitative talk and gestures…. Positive communication is also not about naïvely attending to only good things but rather it is about applying and studying communication that allows us to thrive in the full spectrum of life experiences.

Dad, even in some of your child’s most difficult experiences, your words carry great weight through the notes you write, the journals you keep, the in-person conversations you initiate, and text messages you send.

Love the unlovable.

Supporting your child’s relationship with his or her mother—even in times when it feels like the last thing you want to do or can do—is foundational to raising emotionally healthy children. Can you show honor and respect to someone even when it isn’t reciprocated? Can you do it for the sake of your kids? As much as possible your kids need both parents, and each of you brings unique contributions to the kids’ lives as mom and dad.

Ask questions.

Let’s say your son or daughter comes back to your house and was really let down by something their mom did or said. Although you might be tempted to pile on with criticism, simple questions can help draw your child into a deeper conversation and create an opportunity for you to begin talking through the healing. Try questions like:

“Why do you think she said that?”

“Do you believe that’s true?”

“How did that make you feel?”

“How will you respond?”

Stay calm, cool, and collected.

This one affects all the others. It will require some preparation and daily efforts to grow in this area and is a key part of being able to show love and ask thoughtful questions. We are all better dads when we’re calm and not giving in to strong emotions and other inconsistent factors.

Dad, keep a positive outlook on your fathering. Embrace your opportunities to invest in your kids with affirmation and encouragement. Your consistently positive words will reap healthy outcomes as you raise consistent and confident kids.

Read more from Matt at fathers.com here.

Matt Haviland is the director of Alpha Men’s Center, a division of Alpha Grand Rapids, in Grand Rapids, MI. He is married to his amazing wife, Christy, and is the father of a wonderful teenage daughter. He and Christy are currently in the adoption process as well. Matt has been working with fathers since 2008 and understands just how valuable dads are to their families and communities. A native of Grand Rapids, he enjoys family time, reading, playing golf, and almost all outdoor recreation.

Watch the replay of the Fathering Breakthrough Event

Join Dr. Ken Canfield and a handful of friends and partners as we give an update about our efforts to inspire and equip fathers all over the world.

There may be no more important work than turning the hearts of fathers to their children, and that’s what this is all about. We’re seeking to repair, rebuild and restore effective fathering for the benefit of children and families everywhere.

Slot Dana Slot Luar Negeri Slot Maxwin Slot Thailand Slot777 AyamJP Login Resmi AYAMJP Robopragma Robopragma Robopragma Robopragma CUPANGJP CUPANGJP https://bkpsdm.melawikab.go.id/dana/ https://bkpsdm.melawikab.go.id/luar/ https://bkpsdm.melawikab.go.id/maxwin/ https://bkpsdm.melawikab.go.id/thailand/ https://bkpsdm.melawikab.go.id/slot777/ Slot Server Amerika Slot Server Asia Slot Server China Slot Server Eropa Slot Server Filipina Slot Server Hongkong Slot Server Internasional Slot Server Jepang Slot Server Kamboja Slot Server Malaysia Slot Server Myanmar Slot Server Rusia Slot Server Singapore Slot Server Taiwan Slot Server Thailand Slot Server Vietnam Slot Server Luar Server Amerika Server Asia Server Eropa Server Filipina Server Hongkong Server Internasional Server Jepang Server Kamboja Server Luar Server Malaysia Server Myanmar Server Rusia Server Singapore Server Taiwan Server Thailand Server Vietnam