Good Dad, Bad Dad
I have been guilty several times of not handling certain situations with my kids the “right way“. And, when I say the right way, I mean saying it to the kids in such a way that it does not hurt or demean my child’s feelings or being. As a father, it can be tough sometimes to say what you want to say in a manner sensitive enough for your children to understand. Recently I have tried to take notice of my words and delivery tone of both what I say and how I say it. I have found myself coming across more negative than positive when speaking to our kids. I desperately want, and need, to change this.
Things to Say to Your Kids to Make Them Feel Special
- I am proud of you… and then let them know why.
- I trust you.
- I am glad you are home (or with me).
- I forgive you.
- I remember when you were a little baby… and then talk about something cute they would do.
- I couldn’t have done it any better.
- Want to play a game? Your choice.
- You are a good citizen. (My princess suggested she would like to hear that one).
- You are so brave… and then elaborate on how they have shown courage.
- You look great in that outfit… or whatever they are wearing. (Why yes, I DO have 4 daughters).
- Thank you.
- I am sorry… and explain why (can be one of the toughest to say at times but necessary).
- I am glad we were able to go/do (activity/event) together
- I love you. (undoubtedly the most important)
Things to Try Not to Say
- You always or You never… (try to not generalize)
- Because I said so.
- (In response to “I love you”) Why? What do you want?
- I don’t care.
- That’s not how you do it. Let me show you the proper way.
If you ask my kids, I believe they might say that I am a great Dad. In fact, my wife asked them just recently after a family dinner. I am a dad that plays with them and enjoys having fun. But, on the flip side, I am also the dad that says the wrong things at the worst time. Each day I simply vow to try to be a little more pleasant and a lot more positive in the way I talk to them. I truly think that, in the long run, it will pay off and our relationship will be better for it.