Fathers play an irreplaceable role in every child’s life. This role is essential and helps shape how a child develops into an adult. Last Saturday, I spoke to Mr. Harrison “Harry Baba” Nwozo, and we discussed the role of fathers in parenting. Our conversation highlighted a range of topics and entry points for fathers committed to being more engaged parents:Be your child’s role model: Role Models are people who influence others by serving as an example. Research has shown that much of what children learn is through observation and imitation. Fathers must be great role models to their sons and daughters at all times. Children are always observing their parents’ behaviors and acquiring behavioral traits.
ACTIVITY: Hey Daddy, are you a good role model for your child? Is there room for improvement? Write down your strengths and weakness, committing to be more intentional about great parenting.Spend quality time with your child: Regardless of your parenting style, it is essential to spend time with children.
Spending more time at home is fantastic, but it is necessary to schedule a time for family activities and, when possible ono-on-one time with each child. For instance, Uncle Harry Baba took his daughter out for valentine’s day to show her how a man should treat her. Other great ideas include: watching movies together, playing board games, going biking, or cooking a meal.
ACTIVITY: You are blessed with 24 hours. Write down your typical daily schedule. Do you have scheduled family time for the Day? Week? Month? Year. Are your children getting enough “Daddy Time”?
Discipline your child positively with love: The traditional father, who is an authoritarian, can be adjusted. Some fathers have learned to have a more natural connection with their children, knowing when and how to correct their children effectively. Both parents should discuss disciplinary measures to avoid arguments and maintain consistency.
ACTIVITY: How effective are your disciplinary actions? Are they age-appropriate? Do they make your children scared? Do you use discipline to teach your children appropriate behavior? Have you discussed disciplinary best practices with your wife?
Be your child’s teacher: Uncle Harry Baba definitely did his homework on being a parent-teacher. He consulted with his children’s teachers, used library resources, bought study workbooks, and downloaded educational apps. It is essential to have an understanding of your child’s curriculum to assist them adequately. Also, being able to create schedules and study plans is useful. Yup, Daddies can do this too.
ACTIVITY: Do you have a list of educational resources that are age-appropriate for your child? Create a list that becomes a reference for you when needed. Do you attend PTA meetings? How engaged are you with your child’s education?
Read to your child and have your child read to you: Reading and even storytelling with your child promotes brain development, builds imagination, and strengthens your relationship with your child. Uncle Harry Baba shared that not only does he read to his children, but he also has his children read to him. Yup, parenting requires a lot of patience and creativity.
ACTIVITY: Create a D.E.A.R (Drop Everything And Read) Time where everyone shares stores, reads to the family, and discusses literary works.
Plan, discuss and respect your child’s other parent: Married, Separated, or Divorced: Both parents must be respected at all times. It takes two !! and the way parents treat each other affects children’s perception and understanding of marriage, relationships, and parenting. Uncle Harry Baba has conversations with his wife on the how, who, what of parenting reducing parenting style conflicts.
ACTIVITY: Do you and your spouse have a parenting plan? If you are separated from your spouse, have you considered putting aside differences for the children’s best interest?
It was an excellent conversation with Uncle Harry Baba. Fathers are irreplaceable in the parenting equations. Yes, life happens, but I advocate that all hands need to be on deck because parenting is a lot of work.