The Lilienfeld text touched on the role of the father in parenting a child; sparking my interest on what really makes a great father. Of course it is important that children have a "warm, close relationship with their father" (Lilienfeld, 390) but what exactly does this mean? I found a source which lists ten ways to be a great dad so I chose only a few that I found most interesting.
My personal favorite off of this list was the advice to respect your children's mother. While this was not the first thing I would have thought of in order to improve a father's relationship with his children, it makes the most sense. Whether or not the father is married to the child's mother, it is important that a child feels like he is safe and there is no conflict between his parents. This is especially important for children whose parents are separated.
Another good piece of advice in this article was to discipline with love. A father who can both acknowledge his child for rewardable behavior, and fairly and calmly discipline them as well, is both loving and admirable.
Probably the most obvious way to be a great father, showing a child affection can make a world of a difference in the relationship between a dad and a child. This is especially important for fathers because they are less likely to be the parent to provide the most comfort to infants as they are growing. A father who hugs his child every day and lets his child know how important they are to him gets a gold star for being a great dad.
I know from personal experience that eating meals as a family is also a great way to be a good father. Sitting down to dinner and talking about each person's day allows children to talk to their father and tell them how they are feeling or bring up things that they've been wanting to tell them but couldn't find the time. It also provides a sense of family which is important for any child growing up.
Although there is no set recipe for whipping up the perfect dad, it seems there are a good number of things that are important for a dad raising his children. Mother's are typically given a lot of the credit for raising and taking care of a child but it can not be forgotten that a father provides a great deal for his child. I personally cringe at the thought of the question, what would I have done without my father?