how to be a good dad

5 Qualities That Make the Best Dads

I can remember when my wife and I had our very first child, and the awesome weight of responsibility I felt at that moment when I realized that I was now a dad who was going to be responsible for this new little life and raising this child to become the person God created them to be. I’m sure you can fully relate to that feeling as a parent yourself.

I was thinking to myself in that moment, “I want to be the best dad that I can possibly be.” But I didn’t really know exactly how to be a good dad. I’m thankful I had a great dad to learn from, as well as many things learned from experience in those first few years of parenting. While there could be more things in this list, here are 5 qualities I’ve seen that make the best dads:

1. They are firm yet gentle.

Dads are the cornerstone of the home. They have to possess great emotional strength and sometimes physical strength for their family. This requires that they be able to handle pressure, make the tough decisions, and be firm when necessary. However, every good dad also knows how to be a gentle giant. He understands the value of a soft touch, a loving hug, and a gentle spoken word.

2. They know how to have fun.

Family life at home should be the most fun place on earth, and nothing makes it more fun than a dad who knows how to have a good time. Kids love to joke around, laugh, wrestle, play outside, play games, watch movies, and they love to do it with their dads. Being a dad who knows how to have fun is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your children.

3. They are willing to use their imagination.

Kids have amazing imaginations. And don’t forget, all dads used to be kids once. So they know how to use their imagination too if they just dig deep enough. Going to imaginary places with your children, building lego empires, or transporting yourself back in time to the days of the cowboys and Indians can make you the best dad in the eyes of your kid. Kids love to use their imagination, and they love a dad who does too.

4. They are willing to be the bad guy when necessary.

While being a dad can be a lot of fun, let’s be honest – it’s tough work! More than your kids need a friend, they need a parent. This requires that you be their parent when necessary, even when it means being the bad guy. It’s what God made us to do. It’s sometimes tough, but it’s a part of the high calling of fatherhood.

5. They know how to treat women.

The best dads know how to treat the girls and women in their life, and know how to lead their children to do the same. This starts at home with how he treats his wife and daughter(s). The best dads know how to properly treat women physically, emotionally, and verbally.

Every kid deserves to have the best dad. And every kid can. But it’s all up to you, and it’s all up to me. We get to choose if we will possess the qualities needed to be the best dad that our kids desire and deserve.

Sound Off

Which of these 5 qualities do you currently possess as a dad?  

Andrew Linder

Andrew is a husband and the father of four awesome kids. He is passionate about intentional parenting and helping other parents and leaders effectively reach the next generation.

  • Mark Walker

    Great article – I feel really good if those are the criteria I will be judged on as a dad. I think what is missing is “Leading our children to living for God” (something I surely rank lower on than “knowing how to have fun”).

    • Great point, Mark. I’m definitely with you on the importance of leading our children spiritually. It’s invaluable. Thanks for adding that to this conversation.

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