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How To Be a Better Husband and Father & Connect With Your Family

12 Lessons to Help You Become A Better Husband and Father

Remember the day when your first-born entered the world, and you became a father for the first time? And remember the feelings and thoughts you had when you first held your baby in your arms? And remember the first time you gave that little miracle a kiss on cheek or forehead?  What an amazing time that was. Little did you know that learning how to connect more with your children, and how to be a better husband and father would 'look' so different in just a few short years.

Your child was once a perfect little miracle. Now, 12 to 15 years later you find yourself constantly wondering...

Does this child possibly came from a different planet?  That same child now spends more time in their room than they do in the rest of the home.  That same child now spends more time on their phone than they do in your presence; or worse, they stay on their phone while they’re in your presence. 

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Developing Qualities of a Good Husband and Father Isn't Easy

Once our children start to grow, our relationship with them can seem more forced than fun.  So how can a mere, mortal dad compete with social media, superstar athletes, influencers, and music celebrities when it comes to connecting emotionally and relationally with his child?  Is it even possible to compete? 

Yes, it is, but have you to be strategic about it; and I want to help you.  

Our brotherhood/organization, Real Men Connect, consists of a community of men with over 1,750+ combined years of parenting experience from dealing with newborns and toddlers to teenagers to adult children.  Allow me to share with you some of the best lessons I’ve learned from to them on how to connect with your family better and more effectively.

how to be a good dad

Twelve Lessons To Help You Come a Better Father Right Now

Lesson 1: Connect before you try to protect and correct.  

If you find your child pulling away from you emotionally, socially, and relationally; instead of trying to pull them and force them back to you, try going to where they are – emotionally, socially, and relationally.  The next lesson will show you how to do that.

Lesson 2: Get interested in what interests them.

Be curious. Find out what they’re passionate about, interested in, enjoy doing, or at least like talking about.  And then learn the basics about it. You don’t have to know everything about it; instead, let them teach you by asking them questions about it.

Lesson 3: Stop preaching that the media and social media is bad.

Instead, just show them how unproductive it can be by showing them some better alternatives to social media – like playing a sport together, building something, going hiking, riding bikes, going to a museum, etc.

Lesson 4: Don’t just be a parent, be transparent.

Be honest with your children. Most pre-teens and teens don’t connect with their parents emotionally because they don’t believe their parents can relate to them on and emotional and relational level.  Being transparent with your child about your emotional struggles when you were their age will let them know you’re a safe place for them to share.

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Lesson 5: Be willing to discuss your parenting fears.

You child already knows you love and care about them, but do they really understand why you care so much and what you’re afraid of? Be vulnerable about your fears in being a parent and even solicit their help in helping you alleviate some of those fears.

Lesson 6: Be honest concerning your ignorance.

One of the best ways to connect with your child is to confess to them you don’t know the answer to all their questions.  Your child needs to know you’re authentically honest, not Albert Einstein.  Let them know you’re willing to search with them for the answer when you don’t know, so they’ll trust you with the answer when you do know.   

Lesson 7: Listen and lead them to the truth, not lecture them about it.

The older your children get, the more they’re going to think they know than you do; it’s natural. So, use your wisdom and experience to listen to them, and ask them questions about their logic so you can strategically lead them to the answer. Lecturing never works, but leading does. (Here are 7 more ways to to be a good christian father and the leader you desire.)

how to be a good father and leader

Lesson 8: Agree that all passwords are made public or no privacy.

This will be one of hardest things to get your child to accept, so do it by explaining that password transparency has more to do with trust and accountability than protecting privacy. Go back to Lesson 5 to discuss your fears with them.

Lesson 9: Prepare your children, don't just try to protect them.

Give your child space and room to make bad choices while they’re living under your roof.  Why? Because you and your wife are there, as a team, to help them learn and grow from those bad choices.  Also, you’re giving them very valuable experience on how to respond under pressure to the pressures of life.  So, prepare them, don’t just protect them.

Lesson 10: Be intentional about your time with your child.

Make spending time with your child (see Lesson 2) a priority by putting it on your calendar.  Then check with them to see if that’s a time that works for them.  And unless it’s an emergency, never cancel that time with your child. 

Lesson 11: Eliminate all distractions when you’re with your child.  

That means no checking your cell phone, no multi-tasking, no allowing interruptions, no compromising.  In other words, try to be fully present in the presence of your child; and stay connected by disconnecting yourself from the world.

Lesson 12: Look for creative ways to stay connected with them.

Use the car time going back and forth to school to talk to your child, instead of jumping on your cell phone. Text your child something inspirational, motivational, or funny during your break time at work. Use bedtime to pray for and with them.  Leave notes of affirmations and affection for them to find.

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Becoming the Best Husband & Father Starts with Honesty, Trust & Connection

The truth is, God has given us a responsibility to “train up” our children on how to navigate a fallen world (Prov. 22:6 and Deut. 6:6-7), but we can’t lead our children, if they’re not listening to us.  And the reality is, they’ll never listen to us if they don’t trust in our leadership. That’s why connecting with our children for respect, first, will make it a lot easier to protect and correct them later.


Need additional support and feedback from Father's just like you? Book a free breakthrough call with Dr.Joe and find out more about his Real Men 300 Christian Mentorship group for men. Get started here.

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