Accept children as they are

Dad hugging his daughter at a wedding

“The number one priority in fathering is to make sure that kids know they are accepted regardless of their performance. That is one of the keys. Our world is performance-driven. Kids will experience this at school, in sport, with girls, everything – only if you perform will you be accepted and liked. But no-one can live up to that ideal. So I bend over backwards to make the kids know that my feelings for them are never based on performance. The other day I got upset with Josh about something and he said to me, ‘Dad, do you still love me when I am bad?’ That’s it. That’s the question. I have to give him a clear, categorical answer to that question in my fathering.” – John Dickson, author, speaker and historian

  • Encourage your child to do their best. But let them know that you love them no matter what
  • When your child fails it is especially important to express your continued love for them
  • You can be proud of your child’s accomplishments, but let them know that your love is not contingent on their success

Activities:

Share a hobby with your child

Sharing an interest or hobby with your child gives you both the encouragement to create opportunities to spend time together, and gives you a conversation starter.

Tips:

Encourage a healthy lifestyle

Spend active time with your kids – go for a swim, kick a footy at the park, or go for a bike ride. Encourage them to get outdoors and play.