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7 Ways to be a Better Dad

6 Ways to be a Better Dad

Just a few suggestions from one dad to another. And just to be clear, I’m writing this not because I think I’m such a great dad or because I know or do it all right. Nope, I’m writing it as a reminder to myself of a few of the things I need to focus on every day to be just a bit better as a father. I’d love to have your input in the comments on the things I left off that your dad did or that your husband does that means the most to you and/or your kids? And is there any other advice you have for dads?

  1. Spend quality time with your children – We guys frequently feel conflicting demands for our time. Often in the role of (at least partial) financial provider, we feel we are showing “love” by working those long hours, and assume that they somehow make up for the time we are thus not spending with our kids. Guys, when you are old and looking back on your life, I doubt either you or your children will regret a few extra dollars you didn’t make, but I guarantee you will regret the time you wish you could have spent with them… and now can never get back.
  2. Show affection to your children – Some guys have a real problem being affectionate. The words “I love you” are just not in their vocabulary. Forgive the expressions, but “man up” dude. I get that your dad wasn’t all warm and cuddly with you, and his dad wasn’t with him. Neither was mine. And yes, we turned out all right… but really… if you were honest with yourself, wouldn’t you have loved to have heard just once, “Son, I love you and am so proud of you”? I’m not suggesting you need to get all girly and mushy, you’re a guy. But your kids need to feel, really feel, your love. Give them a hug for God sake, it’s not gonna kill you.
  3. Treat your wife with respect – Yes, this is a really important way to be a good dad. I don’t care if you and your kid’s mom are divorced and being in the same room with her triggers your gag reflex. You are partners in raising your children, and especially if your kids are young they don’t understand issues you may have with your wife, nor should they. They are going to learn how to be with their future partners from watching and using you as role models. Hopefully you and your wife are married and happy, but regardless show a loving, respectful, common front to your kids. Their current and future happiness depends upon it.
  4. Talk to your kids… and listen – If you’re daughter wants to talk about her undying love for the Justin Bieiber du jour, then let her. Engage in the conversation. Take an anti-nausea pill if necessary. But keep those lines of communication open. Let them ask questions while they still value your opinion. Share your thoughts, and give theirs respectful attention as well… whether they deserve it or not. Shut that communication pathway down, and it may never get re-opened. Oh, and don’t forget to use all that time you have them captive in the back seat of the car.
  5. Stay calm with your kids – Whether they are provoking you (as they will do intentionally at times) or if life in general seems to be taking daily pot shots at you… stay calm. Don’t scream or yell (at them or life), take things in stride and show a measured thoughtful response to whatever it is. They need to know their world is secure and safe. They certainly don’t need to be scared of you, and they don’t need to be unduly scared of other things (your job security, the economy, your relationship with their mom, etc). When needed be the parent and punish them as appropriate, but calmly without anger.
  6. Stop and Smell the Diapers – You may already be thinking of how great it’s going to be when you no longer need to change diapers. Maybe you’re already past that and looking forward to when they are in school during the day and out of your hair. Perhaps you look forward to them being out of the house and turning their bedroom into a home office or gym. I guarantee some day you will wish, beg, pray to have these days back again… to have another chance to spend that quality time with them, not just when they drop by with the grand-kids once a year because they moved to the other coast. Go listen to Harry Chapin’s Cat’s in the Cradle.

Today is all we have. There is no point wasting time on regretting anything you have or haven’t done. That’s gone… get over it. What you need to do now is figure out how you are going to make the most of the time you do have. Do it now, because “now” is going to be gone before you know it. To borrow an advertising tag line, “JUST DO IT!”

What did or does your dad or husband do that meant the most to you? What advice do you have for other dads?

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  1. Humbled Dad

    I really like this — the sentiment, the advice, and the writing. And I surely agree, though these are all things that require a concerted effort on my part.
    Thanks for the reminders.

    1. Michael Schmid

      Thank you so much. I wrote this from my heart and in my own “voice” as they say. All of us dads have to work on these, among other things, and it always an ongoing effort. That was part of the reason I wrote it… to make sure I stayed focused on these things.

  2. L. Eleana

    This is really great advice! I really love the part about “Today is all we have.”

    1. Michael Schmid

      Thanks, L. Eleana! The past is gone and tomorrow will never come. All we ever have is now. It’s so hard, though, not to get caught up in all the minutia of daily life that constantly tries to demand our time and attention. It’s hard work to stay focused on the present an on the things that matter. But it’s worth the effort.

  3. Scott aka This Daddy

    Damn man. I have 1, 2 and 3 down. Like Peyton and the 2 minute offense. 4 I am working on to get better but my kids havnt gotten to the point yet where they love anything more than legos but I still listen.

    5, shit that is a work in progress. I work on that everyday.

    6. Keep that to yourself. I dont not do diapers

    I loved the post today, very nice

    1. Michael Schmid

      Hey Scott. Good to see you. All of us dads know it’s always a work in progress. We can only do the best we can. Sounds like you are doing pretty well. If you wife doesn’t mind you not changing the diapers I certainly don’t give a damn. Division of responsibilities is every couple’s choice. You treat her with respect in the ways that matter, and your contributions are equal over all… that’s what matters. As for keeping your cool, that’s an important one. My dad had some issues with that. Do your best, it matters. You’re a good guy. Thanks for dropping by again!

  4. Liz

    Michael, thank you for writing such a great post. The world needs more dad’s like you.
    My heart resonates with number 6. We do need to “stop and smell the diapers.” Sometimes we focus too much on the future and don’t take time to appreciate the here and now in all it’s stinkiness (new word), craziness and wonderfulness (another new word).

    I also agree that respect is a huge deal for parents to demonstrate for their kids.

    1. Michael Schmid

      Hello Liz. Thank you for the kind thoughts. I’m as imperfect as any other dad, and trying to learn and do my best. Yeah, I teared up just a bit (not too manly, huh?) when I wrote number 6. I already see how fast time is passing. Some day she will be off at college (I hope) and probably starting a family of her own ome day. I will miss the little girl she is now so much. And yes, the example my wife and I set for her as a model of a loving, respectful relationship can make a big difference in her relationships with others, especially her hubby. It’s a lot of pressure isn’t it? We can only do the best we can do. Thanks again for your thoughtful comment. Have a good night.

  5. Chaplain Donna

    What a great post! I wish more dads cared about being dads. It seems easy in our society for dads to forget about their kids and start new families. If the new family does not work, they start all over again. It is very sad and the kids, along with many women are left hurting and feeling abandoned because a man did not honor his wife and children. A strong family is the foundation for a better future. Of course the odds of growing up in a broken home can be beat, but why should so many people have to overcome a troubled past. The dads reading your post are probably the good ones, we need to get a message to the deadbeats.

    Good job dad!

    1. Michael Schmid

      Thanks so much, but to be clear I’m just like every other dad, trying to be the best I can be and failing more often than I’d like. My wife has been a huge help, e.g. when our daughter was a little baby my wife suggested that I read to and put our daughter to bed EVERY NIGHT (which I’ve done for nearly two years). By doing that every night it guarantees quality one on one time with my little girl. My wife and I alternate which of us feeds and baths her each night so our wee one gets that time with dad every other night, and also ONE DAY EVERY WEEKEND is daddy – daughter day. I get up with her and spend the entire day with her. I say this not to brag, but to suggest if I can do it (remember I’m just another imperfect dad) then any dad who wants to add more quality time simply needs to schedule it and make it a habit. My wife has been a big help encouraging this and I’m so grateful. It may not be as much time as I should be spending, but it’s a step in the right direction.

  6. patti

    I am saving this to show my grandson who has 2 little ones and I think sometimes misses this message. They grow up so fast enjoy them

    friday follow

    1. Michael Schmid

      Thanks Patti. All parents need reminders sometimes to keep our focus where it needs to be. Hope you are having a great weekend!

  7. Rachel

    I love #3, and the smelling the diapers bit :) We are blessed with a great daddy at the Quirky house, looks like your little gal is blessed by you as well!

    Cheers, and happy follow friday (from MomLoop)

    1. Michael Schmid

      Hello Quirky Momma (aka: Rachel). Thanks for dropping by; I know how much you all have going on right now, so it means a lot. Cheers and happy follow Friday from Mom Loop, right back at ya!

  8. kelley Simpson

    Love the entry today. Dads today are a new breed for the most part. I agree 100% with the comment in #3. My ex-husband and I have always put the kids first and I can remember having those “bad” conversations with him on the phone hiding in the closet so the girls could not hear.

    Both Dad’s to my girls are wonderful men and they love their baby girls. My husband now can fill my shoes at the drop of a hat. He’s man enough to be a good Mom, and loves every minute he has with his daughter.

    I wanted to share this you tube with you. We watched it yesterday and thought you would enjoy it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrWMBC6yoME

    Enjoy your weekend! Kelley

    1. Michael Schmid

      I LOVE that video you posted. My wife got to see him sing that song at a Women of Faith conference two years ago. It’s quite moving for us guys. I posted it on my facebook profile and one of my friends said it should have come with a “three tissue” warning. LOL. Glad both dads in your girls lives are as wonderful as they are. That will mean so much to them in the long run. You have a great weekend, too!

  9. Nikki

    Great blog Michael! I think so many dads sometimes leave all the loving and stuff to the moms, so this is a great reminder to dads out there that what they say to their kids really matters to them! I was thinking of my dad the other day and thinking about calling him but I was at work, and he called me! I was at work, and so was he, but I walked to the hallway and just left the desk to chat. Its those little talks that mean alot:) My dad is super relaxed and I was having a stressful day and to hear from him totally calmed me down. Every person has a special meaning to me but my dad brings this just total fun calm that just makes me feel like everything is going to be okay, the world could feel like it is falling down around me and my dad would make me feel relaxed about it!

    You are a wonderful dad Michael! Molly is lucky to have you as her daddy!

    1. Michael Schmid

      Thanks so much, Nikki. I’ve heard quite a lot of good stuff about your dad from Shan, so had a picture of him (despite what you might think considering his job) as very calm. That was kind of what I was thinking of when I wrote number 5. And Shan said I should have added a number 7 that said “Have Fun with Your Kids”, and she’s right. That would have been a great addition to the list. Our best to you, L & M. Have a great weekend!

  10. Kristina Ruth

    This is an awesome Post. I’ve been thinking a lot about this type of stuff recently. As a working mom I get stressed out and seem to take it out (sometimes) on the hubs and my daughter. Those are all good suggestions and also reminders.

    I always have time to check out my favorite fellow blogger’s blog. I’m a facebook fan of yours.

    Have a great weekend!
    Kristina
    (www.mountainmum.com)

    1. Michael Schmid

      I’m sorry stuff get’s you stressed out sometimes… as a working mom it must be really very hard, not that stay at home mom’s don’t have their own unique stressors. hang in there kiddo. Thanks for the sweet comment and for following me on facebook. I just comment on one of your photos on there. You guys have a great weekend, too!

  11. Nicole

    Love this list!! I need to work on #5 a little more. I know I’m not a dad =) but that is something that I need to work on too. Some days you can just see it in her eyes when she is pushing my buttons, she knows what she is doing and takes enjoyment from it! lol

    Thanks for this list, it is also a great one for us women!

    Oh, the few times it happens, I love it when my hubby takes Mad out for breakfast, just the two of them and gives me that extra hour to sleep in or just enjoy the peace and quiet. Hmm…. I think I need to ask him to do that at least twice a month!

    1. Michael Schmid

      Hi Nicole. You know, I think little girls are often harder on their moms than on there daddies. Pushing boundaries and your buttons are part of their jobs, and us staying as calm, firm and loving as possible is ours. It’s a fine balance… we’re not their friends (at least not first) we’re their parents, and that means we need to be clear in our direction and consistent in our behavior. It’s your hubbies choice, but every Sunday is my wife’s sleep in day (mine is Saturday, just to be clear… so it’s fair) and I take our little girl for the entire day Sunday. I think my daughter really looks forward to it, and it’s a bonding time and an opportunity for focused quality time I could never get back if I hadn’t done it. Hope you guys are having a great weekend!

      1. Nicole

        Holy crap! I can’t believe I haven’t stopped by in so long! Being hiding out a little lately.

        Yes, I think little girls are harder on their moms too! lol
        We used to do it that way, I would sleep in on Sat and he would have Sunday but since I have decided (we half the time) to go to church then I don’t get a sleep in day now. So it’s either sleep in and no church (which for me I really need that) or go without a time to sleep in. So that’s what I do. I think I am going to ask him to do every other Sat or something though! lol

        1. Michael Schmid

          I’m sure you can work out something fair. Not that the mother ever really gets a completely fair deal. Even the most enlightened and well intentioned dads leave much more of the home related and parenting work to their wives… not that we mean too, but it’s like we have a blind spot to the fact we’re doing it. I’ll have to blog about that next. It’s def something I must work on.

          1. Nicole

            Yeah I guess that’s our punishment for eating the forbidden fruit and sharing with you guys. lol
            I know the men don’t mean to but it’s nice though when you do realize you are doing that and let us know. =)

  12. JDaniel4's Mom

    You are one special dad. Great tips! My husband and I have talked about how I can teach JDaniel many things, but I can’t teach him to be a man.

    1. Michael Schmid

      Hi D. A child needs both parents, but I’m sure you and your hubby are right that there are some things that are most easily modeled by the parent of the same sex. Our little girl will learn many things from her mother that I might not be able to teach as well, given I was never a little girl myself. Still, much of the learning comes from how we parents interact with each other and with her. I’m a very lucky guy to have such a wonderful wife and daughter.

  13. Letters From Home

    First time here and I love it! As I’m reading your post I’m mentally checking them off. Yep, hubby does that. He’s a great one for our son. This hit home though because yesterday my friend told me something sad about her marriage and the interaction of her husband with their four kids which is nonexistent. He says real men don’t play with their kids or give baths or anything else. How I wish more men knew the same stuff you and my husband do! Will recommend your site to them.

    Stopped over from the blogfrog Mom Loop Follow

    1. Michael Schmid

      Hello Angela. Glad you stopped by from Mom Loop. I enjoyed reading your blog this morning. I’m glad your son has a great dad. Honestly I don’t understand a parent that doesn’t want to spend time with his kids. I’m very far from perfect, but try my best with the help of my wonderful wife. We alternate feeding her dinner and giving her a bath every other night. When our now 27 month old was a tiny baby I was the best at swaddling her and getting her to bed/sleep. Once we got the bedtime routine in place my wife suggested I read to her and put her to bed EVERY night. The idea was that my daughter got a lot of time with mommy while I was at work, and this would give me some good quality time with her at night. I really must credit my wife with the suggestion. I’m so glad we do it, though. It’s a pleasure to meet you. Have a lovely Sunday.

  14. Lalas Pequenos

    So true, so true. Every single time I hear that song I get totally weepy. I’m sending this off to a couple dads I know. Thanks for sharing :)

    1. Michael Schmid

      I know, Alessandra, that song has always resonated with me. I don’t want to think about the day my little girl is no longer living here with us. Thanks for sharing this with others. I wrote it from the heart, and mostly for myself, but if it helps any other dads that would be great.

  15. Jennifer

    Thank you for writing this. Do you know what one of my favorite things to do is? Watch and listen to my husband interact with our children. Sometimes when he is tucking in our 3 year old I turn on the monitor so I can hear them. It melts my heart when I hear my husband tell stories and just tell our son about the world around him. :)

    1. Michael Schmid

      My wife says she does that sometimes. Of course now she’s sure I must be schizophrenic what with all the wacky voices I do while reading my daughter books. LOL. I love watching my wife interacting with our daughter when she doesn’t know I’m watching. She’s so loving and playful and upbeat with her. I can and do learn a lot from her. As I noted in other comment replies above, she is the one that got me reading to and putting our little girl to bed every night. It’s a lovely bonding daddy-daughter time. So are Sundays. That’s my day to get up with our little girl and spend all day with her. That also was mommy’s idea. Guys… listen to your wives (see number 3 above), they have some good ideas… sometimes. 😉

  16. Life with Kaishon

    This is some really fantastic advice. I know it could help a lot of people! Will twitter it : )

    1. Michael Schmid

      Thank you so much. I’m following your blog, but didn’t see a twitter account. I’m at http://twitter.com/aDaddyBlog. Very nice to meet you. Have a lovely Sunday!

  17. Erin

    Great post. Perfect timing for me to read it too. I just wrote a post complaining/venting about the time change and how there will be no extra hour of sleep now that I’m a parent. So easy to get caught up in things like that, what you’ve said really helps put things in perspective..especially on a challenging day. I’m sharing the post with my husband. :)

    1. Michael Schmid

      Don’t feel to bad about the time change venting… I said something similar to my wife yesterday. Fall was always that time you got an extra hour of sleep… unless you have kids. LOL. As it happened, I got a bit lucky and she didn’t wake up super early (new time wise). And she’s napping really well right now, thus my ability to slip online briefly. Go pour another cup of coffee and have a great day!

  18. Jill

    Nice job. These are all good reminders for the momma’s too. You have a lucky girl.

    1. Michael Schmid

      Thank you, Jill. But I’m the lucky one. Have a great day!

  19. clueless mama

    What a wonderful post! One that is definitely not just for dads either. I do plan on having my husband read it as well though. Sometimes it is easier to hear from another man, rather than your wife. Thanks for the reminder that you can’t get back the time you lose. Beautiful post Daddy!

    1. Michael Schmid

      Thank you very much for the sweet words. All of us need reminding sometimes, even if it’s often things we already know. That’s why I wrote this… more as a reminder to myself, but I’m certainly happy if it helps others. If you do have your hubby read this, assure him I’m no better (and probably not as good) a dad as him. It’s just a wake up call. Also since you have both a boy and a girl, you might have him listen to the song (mp3) I link to at the end of the blog by Harry Chapin about a boy and his dad… and then also watch this video by Steven Curtis Chapman. They kind of bring number 6 above home. Have a great day!

  20. Lori

    What a GREAT post, I had to read it twice. I love the way you start by saying that you’re not writing this because you think you are such a great dad, but because you want a reminder of the few things you want to focus on to be just a bit better of a dad. Wow, can we clone you?

    These are all such great ways to be a better dad, but I especially like number 3 and I think that goes both ways, for a mom to be a better mom she needs to show respect to dad. Respect is such an important thing, can’t be a given, it needs to be earned.

    I’m glad I stopped by this morning. Thanks for sharing this.

    1. Michael Schmid

      Thank you so much, Lori! I am proud of this post. That said, I have a LOT of work to do to live up to what I wrote.

  21. AprilG

    I couldn’t agree with your tip #6 more. I remember when our daughter was a newborn and had a really bad time with reflux. It felt like we always had to have one set of eyes on her because she seemed to choke on the junk. We used to say to ourselves “we can’t wait until this is all over and she’s two and can run around and not worry about this”. While it’s true I’m glad I don’t have to worry about the reflux any more, there isn’t a day that goes by when I’m holding my toddler and thinking “where did my little bitty baby go?” Every stage is so very special and you only get to go through it once. Enjoy each day.

    P.S. Found you through Blog Frog.

    1. Michael Schmid

      April, thank you so much for stopping by from Blog Frog (Mom Loop?). I know what you mean. Every time I see someone holding a tiny baby I get this lump in my throat. I love the adventure of seeing my little girl grow up and change daily, but I do miss when she was so tiny.

      Just Born - Sepia

  22. Honey Beriell

    great post. must-read for every daddy. Being all days at home means nothing when all you do is watching TV and let your little one play by herself. I am really disappointed when my daughter repeatedly ask something to her dad, her dad didn’t answer coz he too preoccupied with the golf program he is watching. i must make him learn this, and you know what..this tips is adaptable for momma too.

    i am stopping from the mom loop.

    1. Michael Schmid

      Thank you so much for your comment. I understand your disappointment, and I know it’s shared by many moms… and you can add my wife to that list at times. None of us are perfect, but we really must work harder as dads. We cannot get this time back. And I know some day I’m going to very desperately wish I could. So let’s make the most of it while we can, both moms and dads, as you say.

  23. Cavegirl

    Hi there

    First time I’ve checked out your blog. I’m past all the parenting bit (of young ones anyway – mine are 18 and 22) but have these thoughts to add …

    Be kind to yourself and forgive yourself when you don’t come up to the mark and find personal time as well as focussing time on your kids … a healthy you makes for a healthy parent.

    As a daughter (aged 43!) I’d say time is always worth more than money, my father worked so many hours we hardly saw him through my childhood other than weekends, he still does aged 65, there are more important things in life than the next big house or car! Kids (certainly when young) don’t care about what the Jones’ have.

    Cavegirl

    1. Michael Schmid

      Be kind to yourself and forgive yourself when you don’t come up to the mark and find personal time as well as focusing time on your kids … a healthy you makes for a healthy parent.

      Thanks for your very thoughtful input, Cavegirl. You’re right, kids (certainly when young) don’t care about what the Jones’ have. And my wife tells me how every afternoon my two year old gets excited because daddy is coming home soon. Okay, now I’m tearing up. Thanks, again.

  24. Kristy

    good advice…for ANYONE!!!!

    1. Michael Schmid

      Thank you so much, Kristy. Hope your holiday season is going well so far!

  25. Yanet

    I loved this post! I am blessed to be married to someone who feels the same way. I have so many friends who’s husbands don’t stop and smell the diapers. I feel like forwarding this to them. This is actually great advice to any parent. Thanks for posting.

    1. Michael Schmid

      You’re lucky to have a husband that feels this way. As for me, while this is from my heart, it’s still a work in progress for me. It’s tough, but worth it. Thanks for stopping by, Yanet!

  26. John

    In a way my being on disability for the past several years have a blessing. I am the main home care provider & with what I earn in disability also the main financial provider. I have used my time at home to best of my childrens advantage. I have three wonderful, well behaved respectful children. Had I been working full time I know there is a lot I would have missed out on. I would love to be working again, but I will never regret the time I had at home, it benefitted the entire family immensely.

    1. Michael Schmid

      Hi John. While I’m certainly sorry for whatever put you on disability, it sure sounds like you’ve turned that into a huge positive. Good for you! Your three kids are so very lucky to get the kind of time and attention I suspect most kids are starved for from there dad. I changed jobs (from an international corporate job) to one at a University 10 minutes from my house so that I could maximize my time at home. Still you’re kids are getting even more. That’s wonderful. I’m heading over to your blog now, so will comment more on it. Have a great afternoon.

  27. Barbara Lambert

    Excellent post! I agree with all the points you made.

    1. Michael Schmid

      Thank you, Barbara. I’m pretty sure I commented on your recent Wordless Wednesday post earlier this week. Loved it. Hope you are doing great!

  28. Renee

    Beautiful guide for all parents. Im getting a second chance with grandkids on taking more time. I’m glad they’re close by.

  29. Michael Schmid

    You’re very lucky your kids and grandkids are nearby. I’m happy for you. I hope our daughter will not move far after she leaves the nest, but it happens more and more these days. Thank you for the kind words, Renee.

  30. laughwithusblog

    My #1 would be teach them the Word of God and live it out! Life on earth is temporary! :)

    1. Michael Schmid

      Hi Esther. Great to see you. You are right, a good moral foundation and compass is very important in being a good dad. We are roll models and our kids see and hear and retain everything. Thanks so much for dropping by!

  31. Leigh Ann (The Twin Spin)

    It’s official then. My husband is an awesome father. And husband. And sounds like you are too!

    1. Michael Schmid

      Leigh Ann, if your husband does all of these thing, you definitely got one of the good ones. As for me, these are the things I aspire to, but some days it’s a struggle to maintain your focus on the things that really matter, when pressed constantly by things that claim to.

  32. Samantha Gluck

    Fantastic post! I am so fortunate that my wonderful husband does all of these things and more! He provides the inspiration for my father’s advocacy work. What a fantastic post! Thanks Dad!

    1. Michael Schmid

      Thank you! Could have sworn I responded to you, Samantha. Sorry, this is belated. Sounds like you’ve got yourself a keeper. I’ve enjoyed our interactions on blogs and twitter. Have a great weekend.

  33. OneMommy

    What a beautiful post. The ideas are so simple, but you are right, we often let those moments pass us by. Especially daddies, with work and other commitments, sometimes that special time just gets pushed aside. I try to make myself scarce when my husband comes home so the kids can have time just with him. I know my daughter loves to take walks with Daddy.

    Stopping by from the Mom Loop

    1. Michael Schmid

      Thank you! How great you step aside a bit when your hubby comes home so he can have more time with the kids. I read to and put my daughter to bed every night. It was my wife’s wonderful suggestion originally and a great daily daddy daughter time. :)

  34. Brooke

    This was a great post! I’m dropping by from Mom Loop :-) I love how you put things into perspective, that we need to improve and appreciate the “now.” As I’m writing this, my 2 year old and I are watching Toy Story 3 for the second time today, and it’s not 10:30 yet :-) Instead of fighting over watching the same movie again and again, I’ll look back and remember how much she loved the movie and acting it out with me while watching it. Such a cutie :-) Thanks again for the post!

    1. Brooke

      As I’m reading what I wrote, I realize I didn’t relate it back to daddies. However, I think the advice you gave was great for both parents.

      1. Michael Schmid

        Thanks so much for your comments, Brooke. I wrote this as a reminder to myself of what I should be doing, but most of it applies to women, too, I suppose.

        Yeah, last night on the third visit to my crying 2 year old’s nursery, I reminded myself how much some day I was going to miss holding her in the middle of the night and soothing her tears.

        Puts things in perspective. Have a great weekend!

  35. Becca

    Great post, for moms AND dads alike! All things that I’ve learned–over time. Things that are so important but so easy to miss if we are not intentional in our parenting. Thanks for the reminder.

    Stopping over from Mom Loop Friday. :)

    1. Michael Schmid

      Thank you, Becca! This is one of my favorite posts. I actually come back and re-read it now and again. The thing is, these are the things I know I should be doing all the time, but sometimes slip up. So it helps to refocus and remind myself. Have a lovely weekend!

  36. Jeff

    Really important stuff here. So much of this seems like it should be obvious/2nd nature but as even quality dads know, that isn’t always the case. I’ve got a major problem with staying calm (#5). Your words helped me tonight, to refocus on what really matters – and that’s not the few scattered toys left on the floor. It’s that my kids are giggling, well-fed, and happy before bed.

    1. Michael Schmid

      Jeff, thank you. That means so much. Believe me I understand. I created this blog and this list in this specific post as a way to remind and refocus myself. I’m very happy it sometimes helps others, too. I know I need the encouragement and support of others daily. Thanks again, and have a great evening.

  37. Derek Gillette

    I know I’m late to the party here, but the post is very relevant still. I like all the references to being intentional about spending time with your kids.

    I do think sometimes dads need more tools for change than just a reminder to “man up”.

    This is where we need to all help each other with encouragement and advice. As well, pick up a book. I wrote one called “How to Be a Man: a Father & Son Guide” which covers many of these topics.

    Thanks for a great post!

    1. Michael Schmid

      Thanks, Derek. One can never be too late to this party. I’ll definitely download your book to my iPad’s Kindle reader. Anyone else interested can link to it Derek’s name (above left). Thanks again, Derek!

  38. Charlie Hendricks

    New Year’s resolution: Be a better dad. Thanks for the advice. I’m going to try hugging my kids more too!

    1. Michael Schmid

      As busy and tired as we are it’s sometimes hard to give our kids the full attention they crave. Believe me I’m not always as good at this as I’d like, but every little bit helps, right? Thanks for dropping by, Charlie. Have a super week!

  39. Justin Knight

    I like that you added “LISTEN” to number 4- so very important. Great list of ideas to add to my list of resolutions. Happy New Year!

    1. Michael Schmid

      Happy New Year, Justin! “Listening” is something I really need to focus on, too. Hope all is going grand with you? Doing wonderful here. :)

  40. Jon

    Great post and message.

    May I also suggest this song . Chris Staples – Dark Side of the Moon. The chorus pretty much sums up what it’s all about being a parent.

    http://youtu.be/zb-Qj6dMsOI

    1. Michael Schmid

      Thanks, Jon! I had not heard that before. Excellent song.

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