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.

Say To Kids

Things to Say to Your Kids to Make Them Feel Special

  1. I am proud of you… and then let them know why.
  2. I trust you.
  3. I am glad you are home (or with me).
  4. I forgive you.
  5. I remember when you were a little baby… and then talk about something cute they would do.
  6. I couldn’t have done it any better.
  7. Want to play a game? Your choice.
  8. You are a good citizen. (My princess suggested she would like to hear that one).
  9. You are so brave…  and then elaborate on how they have shown courage.
  10. You look great in that outfit… or whatever they are wearing. (Why yes, I DO have 4 daughters).
  11. Thank you.
  12. I am sorry… and explain why (can be one of the toughest to say at times but necessary).
  13. I am glad we were able to go/do (activity/event) together
  14. I love you. (undoubtedly the most important)

Things to Try Not to Say

  1. You always or You never… (try to not generalize)
  2. Because I said so.
  3. (In response to “I love you”) Why? What do you want?
  4. I don’t care.
  5. That’s not how you do it. Let me show you the proper way.

Say to your kids

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.

What would you add to either list?