I think there is nothing more manly than being a good dad. Most anyone can conceive a child but it takes a real man to be in for the long haul and to give selflessly to the relationship.
What are some Fathering tips you have found to work or even ones that don't work and should be avoided.
Pick your battles. Never bluff. Never lose. In a Mexican standoff, one of you will break first. Make sure its the kid.
Don't over-punish ... leave somewhere to go if it gets worse. Follow through with punishments once given.
Don't second-guess the wife in front of the kids. Same goes for her.
Don't forget to scatter a few "yes"s in with all the "no"s. No kid ever died from having ice cream for dinner every once in a while.
This may only apply to mentally handicapped children. Our pre-verbal son would regularly throw food on the floor -- no particular emotion; he just did it. I got advice here to punish him by ending (his) supper at that moment. This boy still doesn't get the concept of punishment, incentives, etc., 2 years later.
But I also got advice to put it back on the table. Which I did. Since there was no longer any point in throwing it on the floor, he stopped. Now if he puts food on the floor, it's accidental.
So I conclude: find a way that works, even if it doesn't feel like justice. Mercy is better anyway.
Jack and Jess are bang on.
i'd add that you also need to risk creating your own advice. other adults and your parents certainly know a thing or two, but you know your kid best and your kid is different from all others (even the kid version of you).
you will mess up. but kids are resilient and forgiving (even if they don't show it).
it is not easy. but it is worth it.
last: spend time with them.
Tricks I found.
Realize you are on whenever your little one is awake. How you show love to your partner is how they will learn to be affectionate also.
Respect your child. Expect them to behave to the limit they can. That means if they did not get a needed nap, don’t be angry when they can’t behave out and about.
The big one for me was deep breaths for both you and your child. Do it together. When my little one gets angry or frustrated we stop and take deep breaths together then deal with the problem.
When my boy gets hurt, we agree to how many ow’s the pain is worth. If you hit your head full tilt running under a play set or skin knee it hurts, respect that. We take deep breaths and say “ow” together loudly for whatever the count is (1-3 usually) once that is done I tell him he is done with the crying, go play. It cuts the tears while recognizing the pain. The deep breaths are the key here it resets the situation somewhat.
Whining gets my son NOTHING and less. My wife and I have all the time in the world for pain, hunger, love, etc, but not whining.
This is great!
One of the things I have found that works with my 5 year old son is a swift understanding method. We do use corporal punishment and the swiftness comes in 2 folds.
The first of the swiftness is immediate punishment. So no matter what happens or where if the child is disobeying or acting in a wrong manner then he is immediately pulled from the situation. Then I describe to him the punishment he is about to receive say 2 spankings. I then ask him why I am going to spank him. If he answers correctly then I affirm the reason and deliver the punishment. If he can not answer I explain it to him and give him a couple of seconds to process and then deliver the punishment. That is the understanding portion of the this method. The second swiftness comes into immediate reconciliation I affirm that I still love him and just want him to behave correctly. Longer term punishments like timeouts and groundings are left to repeated infractions.
Something we tried that does not work is at least for my child was in the case of dinner time. He hates vegetables. There was a time when he did like them but that ship has sailed. He would be unmanageable about the food he was going to eat so I started giving him one chance to eat it. If he did not or threw a fit I excused him from the table and simply stored his food till the next meal. This ment he would be eating green beans and porkchops for breakfast. It took about 4 meals before I realized that no matter how hungry he got he was not eating that meal. I eventually had to pick this battle and feed him just the porkchop. So he eats a lot of meat and we are working on the vegetable thing but at least he eats.
We went with the timeout method of punishment. He gets 5-10 minutes after he calms down. I have had a 5 minute timeout talk 45 minutes because he was whining/crying so much. The last minute is a reminder why things where bad. I like this method because it also gives me the time to settle out also so I'm not angry also.
The one thing about punishment regardless of method, if you say you will do X if Y and Y happens you MUST do X. It is amazing how well behaved they will be (with in their capacity) if you respect them enough to keep your word about consequences.
Another thing that has been pretty great outside of the punishment part of fatherhood is helping him go in the way they should go.
My son Gideon loves science we watched one episode of myth busters and now he want's to be one when he grows up.... so do I. So for christmas this year we are getting him some modle rockets that me and him will build together. I think I am more excited his christmas present than my own.