It sounds a bit odd, isn’t it? What is a dad? Why cannot you simply ask or rephrase it like who is a dad or who is a father. Most people ask or wonder this because most fathers don’t turn out to be dads. They just become the only a biological partner who instills the seed of life.
Hence most people still wonder “What” is unique in a dad and “How” A dad can be different from a “Father.”
What is the difference between a Dad and a Father
Before going into finer details, there is a famous saying that “Any man can be a father, but only a special true gentleman can be a dad”. This will summarize the difference between the expected qualities of a Dad vs a Father.
A Great Dad Should Always
- Be the superhero – You are the hero of your kids. Before any other superheroes come into children’s lives, they will see their dad as the most influential person. The person they can run to if they face any trouble.
Establish that assurance, give that warmth. Always be the hero.
- Be an active listener – Good dad is always a good listener. When the child passes certain stages of their life, they will have different things to communicate/share and take advice. They need a good listener, a person whom they can trust to share that story.
Most children fall into trouble mainly because they do not have someone within their family circle to talk about their problems and take advice. They try to share those with strangers and post them on the internet and try to find solutions.
- Be the First play companion – Kids learn a lot in their early education through games and recreational activities. If you want to be a good dad, you need to take the first step and be their first playmate.
As a grown-up, this might sound silly and tedious but believe me, you will enjoy every bit of it.
- Try to be their first teacher – Kids love to learn from their parents; as the dad, you can take the initiative and try to be their first teacher. What I mean here is not about teaching them mathematics or science. You can instruct your children about values, responsibilities, and how to grow up as responsible citizens.
- Accept mistakes / Apologize if needed – You are the dad; why should you accept your mistakes? When children see their dad accepting mistakes, it will encourage them to take responsibility for whatever they do.
- Taking responsibilities – Becoming a father means you need to take extra responsibility because now you have family members to look after. You will have to save, plan your future, and try to give the best for your children. You chose to have children, and it is not a child’s choice to come into your life; hence you have that added responsibility.
You might have to miss odd Friday party with your best buddies to baby sit your child. You might have to miss an important football game in order to attend to your kid’s school convocation. But that is what is expected from a great dad.
- Treat your wife / Ex-wife with dignity – Currently, you can be living as a family or have been separated. Ensure that you never abuse or argue in front of your children with your wife or with your Ex.It will make your children hate you and force them to go through mental trauma, leading to disastrous consequences.
- Be comforting and compassionate – Especially teenagers need this support from their dads. You need to be merciful about their grievances and need to comfort them when they face problems. And if possible, if you can give a final solution that would make the situation much better.
- Be patient / Be empathetic – Sometimes, certain things your children do will drive you nuts, especially after a hard day at work. But it would be best if you kept in mind that sometimes they do things without thinking of the consequences of the actions.
If you lose patience, first you need to think about how your immediate actions will affect the situation? will it worsen it or subside it? As a dad, If I were in my kid’s position, what would I have done? If you give those extra few minutes, it will help you gather your thoughts, which will help you to manage the situation more effectively.
- Be the policymaker / Set rules – Though you need to give your children freedom, a good dad should always keep an eye on what they do. A good dad should always put specific house rules which children should follow. E.g., Playtime, Study time, Sleeping time, etc.
This will be an easy task if you start this at an early stage. Most dads try to impose these rules when children become teenagers, and they fail miserably. As the dad always try to keep control.
- Be the guiding star – Children need guidance, and they will first look at their big daddy for advice. They might ask for your opinion, and with life experience, you know what is best for your child.
Suppose you see something special in your child, like singing, the dancing ability. In that case, you should be the first person to identify it and encourage your child to develop that skill.
- Be open-minded, live in the present – Technology changes, culture, and value changes. If you are to be a good father, you need to understand the present society. It would be best not to judge your children based on the experiences gained twenty years back.
If you do not bridge this culture gap, children will slowly drift away from you.
Signs Of A Bad Father
- Always shy away from responsibility – A bad father will always shy away from responsibility and put the extra burden on the mother’s shoulder.
- Bad communicator – Does not like to talk much with children and spend time with them. Most of the time, I misunderstand what the child is trying to say.
- Acts violently/ Scolds – Toxic father will always try to fight and violently does not welcome other’s opinion and acts hostile.
- Never appreciates – A bad father will never enjoy their children. They will never say a job well done or a good job done to their children. Their kids can be superstar kids, but they will drift away from the father due to a lack of appreciation.
- Selecting friends over family – A good father should always prioritize the family. Yes, it would be best if you had friends. Still, you should never choose friends over your family.
- Difficult to make happy – A bad father will not be satisfied with anything. He will stay grumpy regardless of whatever their children achieve and always compare their children with other kids.
It is vital to understand and know “what is a dad “rather than knowing “who is a dad.” Unfortunately, many of us have not been lucky enough to feel the affection and love of a real Dad. There is a clear difference between “a father” and “a dad.”
Many of us have had name’s sake fathers and not real dads. A father is a person who will bring you to this world together with your mother. But pass on the responsibility of looking after you purely to the mother. A father will financially support you and will leave the rest of your duties to the mother.
On the other hand, a dad is a person who will bring you up with a lot of love and affection together with your mother. He will take on the responsibilities of bringing you up just like the mother.
A dad will be there with you through thick and thin and help you to face life’s challenges and will be the pillar of strength and foundation in the family. So be “a dad” and not “a father” because not everyone gets the opportunity to be a parent. So do not misuse this precious opportunity.