Learn How to Be a Better Dad With These 10 Simple Tips

By John Cruz

Last Updated:

We all want to be the best dad to our children.

Whether newborns, adolescents, or teenagers, we want to be that person they run to when they have any questions that life throws at them.

Sometimes the job doesn’t end, even when they ha21ve their own family.

Whatever the case may be, I want to show you several ways to be a better dad.

You probably should already know some of this stuff, but I think a nice little refresher will help.

There’s one thing to be a better parent, but things get a little different when it comes to being a better dad.

You’re not the parent that carried the baby for nine months, and you’re not the one nursing the baby either.

You’re that male figure that needs to form a bond, and you are usually called “dad.”

It’s not the easiest of roles, but with a bit of help, things don’t have to be so complicated.

How Do You Become a Better Dad?

It’s easy.

All you have to do is be perfect.

You can’t have a history of drugs or any criminal charges, and your kids have to get straight A’s in school.

Yeah, fricken, right.

That’s not going to happen, and you shouldn’t expect it to either.

What you should do is understand that we, as parents, all go through the same ups and downs and issues with children.

If we didn’t have these problems, then what in the world would we be doing with our lives?

We would be these so-called perfect parents, and our kids would grow up to be the same.

Sigh, if only it were that easy.

But it’s not, and that’s why I want to show you some ways to help you be a better dad.

Not perfect, but better.

1. Stop Trying to Be the Perfect Dad

The biggest mistake anyone can make when trying to be a better dad is being perfect.

You aren’t the perfect man, and you must understand that no one is.

Don’t spend hours a day focusing on trying to perfect something.

Don’t try to be the perfect father, and don’t try to make your kids perfect, either.

They are all different, and you need to adjust to their personalities.

It’s a complete waste of time and does not make you a better dad.

Instead, focus on doing something more productive.

Focus on little things that matter rather than stressing over something that is probably already good in the first place.

2. Get Off Your Phone


I could write a whole other post on this topic alone, so I will keep this one short.

You need to look in the mirror and see what that person is doing.

Are you present in your child’s life?

Is your smartphone something you look at every 10 seconds?

Most dads don’t know this, but they are glued to their phones, and they could not care less about what their children are doing.

Sure, you might tell them to stop doing something or get off their butts to do something, but these kids can see right through you.

They know your brain is occupied by whatever it is on your phone, and they don’t care about what you have to say.

They might fear you (because you’re their dad and a lot older), but that’s about as far as things go.

Do you want respect and a much better-behaved child?

Look at yourself, and you’ll see how out of it you are.

So, if you’re constantly hearing “dad look” a million times, chances are, you’re staring at your phone.

3. Mind Your Child’s Business


Kids don’t know what they’re doing, and they will do as much or as little as you allow them to do.

If you have no idea what they are doing on their tablet or whatever device they’re on, you need to get on it, literally.

Don’t just look at their history, but rather, sit down with them and see what it is that they’re watching.

See who they’re associating with and see how they are talking.

You can usually see this in their behavior around the house, but the point here is to be involved and get a closer look at their lives.

You might have an idea, but you have no clue in most cases.

4. Discipline


Do you know how to discipline a child?

Ummm, does anyone really know?

I don’t care what prince or princess you are catering to.

There needs to be some discipline in the house.

It’s the hardest thing to discipline my daughter, but I have to do it no matter what.

She throws her fits, doesn’t listen, and gives me the most challenging time ever.

Regardless, it would help to teach her that she needs to act right.

Now, don’t get things mixed up.

There’s a difference between discipline and an angry father.

You need to know that getting mad is not discipline.

It’s stress from your job and everything else in life, and now you’re offloading on your child.

Don’t do that.

When your kid acts up, you need to go about it the right way.

You don’t have to be soft, and you don’t need to give them whatever they want.

You need to be stern and show them what is right.

When they cry or act up, sure, they’ll be mad at you for a little while, but trust me, they will still love you no matter what.

And when they see that you aren’t going to budge with your discipline, it will make you that much more of a better father.

Discipline is necessary, so don’t be afraid to say no.

5. Be the Role Model


If you are lazier than anyone you know, I think it’s time to get off the couch and do something about it.

Don’t tell your kids to clean their rooms, and yours looks like a dang storm rolled through.

And, the worst thing you could ever do as a parent looking to be better is to bark orders at your kids, all while sitting on your lazy behind.

Get up and help them.

Show them how to do things, rather than telling them.

If you want them to be healthy, you need to eat healthily and not smoke cigarettes or do anything unhealthy.

There’s nothing more irritating than a dad that sits there holding the TV remote and telling their kids to go and get them something.

Shaking my dang head.

6. Spend Quality Time With Your Child


If you want to be a better dad, this is one of the most important things you need to work on.

Quality time is critical, and every single child needs it.

It’s beyond irritating to see a parent complain about their child being on their device or game too long, all while they sit there and scroll through their Facebook feed.

How does that make any sense?

If you want your child to spend less time on their devices, you need to give them something else to do.

But this time, throw yourself in the mix.

There’s a time for work, so don’t try to do it while spending “quality” time with them.

Don’t go trying to do some outdoor activity and then run to your phone every five seconds, thinking it’s okay because it’s not.

Put that irritating piece of technology away and spend some time with your child.

It will help your child in many more ways than you think, and it will help you be that much of a better father.

Get everything else out of your mind and pay attention to whatever activity you are doing with your kids.

7. Teach, Teach, Teach


How awesome would it feel to see another parent teach your kid how to play catch?

I don’t think it will be any fun at all, so don’t let it happen.

Get a ball and play some catch.

If you have a daughter, get that tea set and be ready to drink some dang tea.

These activities are great, but they will need someone to guide them, whether you know what you are doing or not.

You don’t need to be Michael Jordan to teach them how to play basketball, and you don’t need to be a spelling Bee champion to teach them how to spell.

8. Change Your Attitude


They always have to be tough.

They always have to be the Alpha Male.

Becoming a dad should change all that.

You don’t always have to be in charge, and you don’t always have to be the dominant man around.

Your kids will see how you act, and guess what they’ll do?

They’ll try to be exactly like you and act the same way.

Do you want your kid to be acting loud and obnoxious?

Probably not.

So, if you want to be a better dad, you might want to change the way you act and quit trying to be the top dog.

One way that helped me humble my haughty self was to understand that a higher being exists.

Understanding that I am nothing more than a human, just like everyone else, has helped me to act a little better.

Not to say that I’m not confident in my abilities to do certain things, but my attitude has undoubtedly changed.

9. Show Some Affection

If you want to be a better dad, you will have to leave your pride at the door.

Pride is not something you want or need in life, regardless of what you think needs it.

Some famous names in the world tell you that the right kind of pride is needed, but I beg to differ.

Pride is never a good thing and will not help you become a better dad.

Sure, businessmen and other not-so-family-oriented publications will have pride as being “okay,” but remember that this will not help you as a parent.

Pride in your kid’s accomplishments?

Yeah, it feels great, but what if your child wasn’t so accomplished?

What would that do for them?

It could break them down, big time.

So if your child is doing great in school or sports or whatever it is that they excel in, that’s awesome.

It does not mean you need to puff up with pride and act like an animal.

Be humble, and your kids will know that pride is never a good thing.

10. Always Show Appreciation

No one wants a bratty kid.

We all want a kid that is content with what they have and doesn’t complain much.

That’s possible and very much dependent on you, as the parent.

So, the next time you find yourself complaining about how your food was missing a grain of rice, remember that little Johnny is there watching.

When you find yourself complaining about how hot and humid a place is, remember that someone is freezing their behinds off somewhere else.

We all know that when winter comes around, you’ll be complaining about how cold it is too.

Instead of complaining about certain situations, embrace them and be glad that you’re able to experience such things.

Forget about that spice that was missing in your fancy dinner.

Go outside and look at the beautiful things created for us in the first place.

No one wants a bratty kid, but no one wants a complaining, full-grown man that your kid calls dad.

If you want to be a man, stop complaining.

Conclusion – Be a Better Dad


You are in total control of everything when it comes to being a better dad, so use these to help.

Most things in life will not be perfect, so use this day to throw that word out of your vocabulary.

Quit telling your kids how perfect they are (because they’re not) and quit trying to show them that they have to be.

Parenting is an ongoing thing that no one will ever master.

Your first child might be well behaved and gets all A’s in school, but your second child might do the complete opposite.

Don’t use one child or experience to dictate who you are as a parent, and don’t compare yourself with others either.

Please do what you have to do to be better and make simple changes, but don’t do it for someone else.

Do it for yourself, your kids, and your family.


About the author

With four humans of his own, John is our parenting expert. He loves being a dad, and when he's not trying to work on his golf game, you'll find him at his kid's soccer games or at the mall with his kids.

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