Father’s Day is the time to say thanks to any men who have filled a fatherly role in our lives. It’s easy to become a father, but it takes a life-long commitment to parent in the way that every child deserves. It gives me pleasure to see fathers taking their roles seriously. Here are four qualities that make a great dad stand out from the rest.
1. He takes time to really listen. Becoming an adult is a challenging process and having a father who is able to patiently listen is more valuable than gold. In many ways, a father can do the job of a counselor, using skills of reflective listening, asking about options, and supporting healthy decisions. A great dad knows how to actively listen to his child while going through the day, during dinner preparation, the drive to school, or an outing for ice cream.
2. He is a consistent and reasonable disciplinarian, even when his child is unhappy about his decisions. I recall a time back in high school when an older boy asked me out on a “date” to a party. My father put his foot down and refused to allow me to go. At first, I cried. But as that evening wore on I experienced a sense of relief because I knew that I wasn’t strong enough to stand up to whatever social pressures might have confronted me that night (alcohol, drugs, sex, riding in a car with someone who was under the influence).