Have you ever wondered which traits describes a great dad? Would they involve nurturing, providing, and guiding?
While those are great traits to have, there are five traits (or characteristics) that provide the rich soil for those traits to grow. These are the specific areas for dads to work on if they want to bear fruit in their fathering:
- Self-Awareness – The majority of dads believe they can be replaced by someone else in their children’s lives, so it’s critical that dads understand that they provide a unique and irreplaceable role in the lives of their children. Great dads are aware of themselves as a man and aware of the significant impact they have in their family.
- Caring for Self – A great dad knows the importance of taking care of himself physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. This ensures he can be involved in his children’s activities and be a healthy role model to them as well.
- Fathering Skills – These are the unique skills dad brings to the parenting process that complements mom’s strengths and weaknesses. When it comes to helping a child with homework, for example, dad may love helping with English, while mom may be more comfortable helping with math.
- Parenting Skills – A great dad is a nurturing parent who clearly understands and accepts the importance his parenting skills have in developing the physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual, and creative needs of his children.
- Relationship Skills – A great dad builds and maintains healthy and supportive relationships with his children, wife/partner, family, friends, and community.
These five traits are built into National Fatherhood Initiative’s® (NFI’s) core fatherhood programs (i.e. 24/7 Dad®, InsideOut Dad®, and 24/7 Dad® Key Behaviors Workshop), which have attained amazing outcomes as a result.
You now have access to a series of five short videos where dads who have completed 24/7 Dad® share how important each trait is to their growth and development as involved, responsible, and committed dads. In addition to the video files provided in the link above (where you can download them), you can also access the playlist on YouTube.
In the Self-Awareness video, for example, dads express some life-changing moments, when they learned:
- How becoming a better man led to becoming a better dad.
- How to communicate feelings and emotions more effectively.
- You can cry and still be a man.
- Knowing what dads bring to their families.
- Responding instead of reacting.
- Patience and empathy are critical for effective parenting.
Here are some ways you can use these videos in your work with dads:
- Show them during your group-based programs (in-person or virtual) to illustrate how important these traits are to being a successful dad.
- If you work in one-on-one settings (e.g. home visiting or case management), show them and then discuss with dads how they can apply the “Aha!” moments expressed by the dads in the videos.
- If you run 24/7 Dad® or InsideOut Dad®, show them during sessions that highlight the traits to reinforce their importance. Incorporate them into presentations you make to funders and key stakeholders to illustrate the impact of the program.
There’s nothing more powerful than watching dads articulate how they were transformed by these five traits. The videos reflect that when given specific areas to focus on, dads will step up to be the best parents they can be.
How can you integrate the five traits more into your work with dads?
How can you most effectively use these videos in your work with dads?