For some guys it seems like fatherhood comes so naturally. They appear to have it all together and their families couldn’t be prouder. But even in the happiest families there are challenges, so it’s healthy and natural if you start your journey by asking how to be a good father. It’s a sign that you care enough to make it work, although seeing it through will be much tougher than it looks.

Tip No. 1: Learn To Be Patient

The first thing a good father should probably learn is patience. Nothing is going to challenge your patience like a new born baby who can’t say what’s wrong. The late nights and early mornings will see you running up and down like a crazy chicken, so get ready.

And as they grow up, they’ll want to tell you endless stories of things that happened at school. Unfortunately it’s hard to pay attention to all the details, which you’ll discover for yourself. Plus, they’ll want to help fix things around the house, not to mention cooking. In a world where time is the most valuable commodity, make these moments last instead of rushing them along.

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Tip No. 2: Have An Open Mind

It’s natural for a father to look into their kid’s future, but you should probably prepare yourself for something completely different. They are going to make decisions that will strike your every last nerve, but having an open mind can help to avoid relationship ending fights. Of course you want to raise them to follow their dreams, but at the same time you have to prepare them for reality. Good luck trying to find a balance between your head and your heart with this, because you can’t decide for them.

Whether it’s in their personal or professional life, learn to accept your child’s choices. Better yet, love them for it. If they are happy and healthy, then you’ve done a great job.

Tip No. 3: Love Them

It’s the most obvious tip on this list, and you might be thinking you already know this. But take a second to really think about it. To love your child is to offer them endless protection and dedication. It means putting their happiness above your own at the moments when you don’t think it’s possible.

To love your child is to be able to let go one day, and watch them take on life without you by their side. Nothing will be scarier or more painful, but it’s the part of the cycle where you need to stay a good father.

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Some Final Thoughts

Every child is different, remember that. If you want to be a good father, embrace their uniqueness and support them for what they stand. Take pride in the fact that they can make tough decisions, and just like you, they’ll probably make a ton of mistakes. All you can do is be there for them when they need somewhere to run. And sometimes, just listening is more than enough.