I wasn’t close to my father.
I know this is the part where people expect me to whine about how hard my life was since Daddy didn’t love me enough. Honestly, I didn’t really notice the absence at first, it simply was what it was. There was a period of my life where I hated him for who he wasn’t, but I got over it, and it went back to the reality that he simply wasn’t the person I wanted him to be, and that was okay.
It doesn’t mean that not having my father in my life did not affect me at all. Not having a father makes me want my daughters to have a good Daddy. I don’t want them to have a point in their life where they wonder if they are simply unlovable, I want them to always know they are awesome. I am lucky enough to have a husband who is not always perfect, but is a fantastic father.
1) A Good Father is a Father.
I know, this is the silly one that should be obvious. It is easy to make a child, but it is much harder to be a part of a child’s life. This isn’t about a genetic connection, it is about an emotional connection. It is about caring, and wanting to be there, even when you can’t. No one is perfect, but a good father takes the role seriously. Maybe he sometimes buys the wrong toy, but he still knows what is important for his children and tries to make sure it happens.
2) A Good Father makes his kids laugh.
There is nothing quite as nice as a laughing child (unless they are loudly laughing in your ear while you try to work, but that is another thing). A dad who knows his kids knows all the things that make them smile, from the stupid knock-knock joke, to the Harry Potter reference, to the ritual pulling of the finger. Just when he thinks he knows everyway to make his child laugh, he finds something new, not because he became funnier, but because he was trying.
3) A Good Father makes his kids cry.
Now calm down, I’m not talking about anything crazy. Sometimes kids want things that don’t need or shouldn’t have. A good father knows that when this happens, his kids might cry, or whine, or pout, and he has to let them. There is more to learn from disappointment than there is to learn from getting everything you want.
4) A Good Father is strong.
When those tears start flowing, whatever the reason, the good father needs to be strong. If they are crying to get their way, you can’t give in. If they are crying because they are hurt, you need to be there for them before you are allowed to break down yourself. The needs of the child come first when they are crying, and a father needs to be strong enough to know how to deal with the tears.
5) A Good Father loves, always.
Kids mess up. Sometimes it’s a mess on the wall, sometimes it’s staying out past curfew, or bad grades. No matter what, a child needs to know that they are loved and they have a place to come home. Love for your child should be unconditional; even when the conditions change, the love remains.