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Eight Great Dad Essentials

New Life Ministries Fathers play an important role in the lives of their children. Here are eight parenting tips that fathers may find helpful.

1. Stay attached – no matter what. It’s amazing what the smallest gesture of love and connection can do. Even spending a short amount of time asking questions and connecting every day is better than giving up.

2. Stand by mom. Stay connected to your children and encourage them to stay connected to their mom. This teaches boys to respect women. Rather than teasing a boy about his need for his mother, encourage the relationship.

3. Value who they are. Instead of loving your children based on what they do, choose to value who they are. Love your child not for what you wish he had but for the qualities which come naturally to him.

4. Develop your own style. Develop your own style of playing, teaching, and nurturing your child. Research shows that your style, even though different from that of your spouse, is extremely valuable to your child.

5. Do not be the "policeman" dad. Try to avoid becoming the "heavy" or "bad cop"; instead, work with your spouse to provide discipline jointly and cooperatively.

6. Show rather than tell. Make the learning process one that teaches by "what I do" rather than "what I say".

7. Be aware of your own "father longings." Many men harbor memories about being teased or mistreated by their fathers for not being "masculine" enough or for disappointing their father. Muster the courage to go beyond these memories and avoid repeating the same kind of shame-based upbringing for your own boys.

8. Show emotions. Let your children know that even as an adult, you sometimes feel lonely, vulnerable, or afraid, that you shed tears, and yearn for hugs. By expressing these things, you demonstrate that you can be trusted with all his feelings and experiences.

Taken from the book Make Room for Daddy by Elisa Morgan & Carol Kuykendall. Used by permission of New Life Ministries. New Life Ministries has a variety of resources on men, women and relationships. Call 1-800-NEW-LIFE or visit

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