- Children need to be accepted and supported as individuals regardless of their academic success, physical ability, sporting prowess, personality, moods, morals or beliefs. This acceptance is often difficult for high-achieving fathers. Do not live your life through them, they may shine brighter, they may not, but they will not be you, and you can expect them to be the you, you wish you were or had been.
- They need unconditional Love.
- They need to be liked and valued as special and valuable people. This, is different from being Loved – love is not enough. Children need to know that they are Liked, that you are interested in their thoughts,1 ideas and opinions, their appearance and their beliefs.
- Children don’t need much economic security, but they do need to feet physically and emotionally safe. They need to know 100 percent for sure that neither of their parents will put them down or hurt them. They won’t appreciate the extra dollars you bring in by working back late, they’d prefer you came home.
- They need a dear sense of our values, rules, hopes and beliefs about life so that they have a roadmap for their early life and boundaries for their behaviour until they are old enough to choose their own.
- These things need to be both spoken and modelled. Words without actions and actions without words create uncertainty and confusion.
- You can’t pass the buck to their teachers or their mother – if you are available but you don’t do what a dad should do, there will be a gap in their lives.
Jasmine is one of the owners of Mybaby.net.au, a WAHM and prolific baby and parenting writer.