Advice for Parenting

Free Parenting Class

7 ways GOOD Fathers can become GREAT Fathers

Bear Valley Community Hospital BVCHD

Good fathers have something in common, they want to become better fathers. We’ve all seen ‘bad dads’ in public, yelling at their kids, ignoring the constant youthful requests, or shushing them to be quiet with limited emotional capacity to understand their children’s needs. Maybe they don’t have the necessary support or insight to be a good dad, but really, that’s just an excuse. Assistance and coaching are readily available.

Dads love their children, that’s a given. Lots of us had fathers who loved us, but we may have been neglected or abused by them as well. Being a good father isn’t automatic. You may have heard “Being a male is a matter of birth, being a man is a matter of choice.”


“Any man can be a father, but it takes real man to be a dad.”

Inferred in these statements is the idea that becoming a GREAT DAD involves courage and decision. However, lots of dads just bump along, trying to figure out fatherhood along the way, like its magic, or a default process that will work itself out. How’s that working out for you?

You can be courageous, make a decision, and become a better father. YOU CAN IMPROVE.

Here are seven simple insights to jumpstart your improvement process (yeah, it’s a process!):

1. Invest time in your child: Like your money, you choose where to spend your time, and it becomes VALUABLE when invested well. Once your time is gone, like yesterday, you cannot get it back, so decide today to have a few extra minutes with your child. Kids spell L o v e, T I M E.

2. Be the Example: your children are watching you in order to learn how to deal with life as they grow. Always remember, one day your child is going to follow your example, instead of your advice. Be the model of what you want your kids to become!

3. Communicate: It is a fact that men speak fewer words in a day than women, so you need to save some of your words for your kids. Don’t use them all up at work. And when you’re communicating with your children, practice LISTENING too. They will be so excited to share everything with you, all the little details of their day, and when they get older you’ll be the one they want to bounce their ideas off of.

4. Show Affection: hug them, a lot. Hold their hand, look them in the eyes and marvel out loud about who you see them becoming. Say “I love you” a thousand times and hug them again.

5. Give Praise: Point out their good character traits – like kindness and honesty. Praise their efforts and hard work (but don’t demand perfection). Celebrate their accomplishments. Pay attention to positive behaviors; what you pay attention to, you are likely to see more of!

6. Play: Fathers play differently than mothers. Researchers have observed that many fathers engage in physical play to challenge and stimulate their child. Father-child interaction can influence a child’s ability to manage frustration, explore new activities, and solve problems in a creative way. We encourage risk taking and overcoming challenges, so get outside and play!

7. Discipline Positively: Set boundaries, make family rules, and reinforce them with consequences, both positive and negative. When you child fulfills a family rule (like putting toys away before dinner) reward that with a positive consequence (praise, reward, extra privilege, pick which story to read at bedtime, etc) Remember, discipline means to guide and teach, it is not the same as punishment (which usually means pain, penalty)

Coaching is a way to master many things. As you are coaching your children to become awesome people, coaching for becoming the GREAT DAD is also available at The Dad Project. Expand your circle of support and get some new tips by connecting with other good dads at:

The MOM & DAD Project Jeff Tunnell, Father Engagement Coordinator

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Great place for parents to learn more about how to raise their kids, lot of parenting skills and great Nurturing Parenting classes.

Walid Wahba

Mom and Dad project has been an answer to my prayers! I love going here, the awesome staff, all the classes and activities and my sons love it too! Absolutely the best!!! I have gained a wealth of knowledge and thank you all for making such an awesome resource and positive environment for me and my family. Cannot say enough good things about this place or it's staff and highly recommend it to anyone with kids.

Amie Buggiani

We LOVE the Mom and Dad Project! Anybody that has some free time should come bring your kid and check out there awesome classes! The Staff is Awesome! Thank you for all your hard work!

Jenn Hearn

The Mom project is such a wonderful and special program. Big Bear families are so lucky to have the opportunity to take such helpful classes and get support from the great staff that run it.

Rebecca Chappell

Thank God for this place! I'm learning so much to be the best parent and provider for my baby Ava Emberose!

Darlene Schrank

I love this program! Its such a great resource! I wish they had something like it in the high desert!

Tiara Shimamoto


T Smith III

(909) 878-2326

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41820 Garstin Drive • Big Bear Lake, CA 92315

Located in the Brenda Boss building next door to the hospital