“You’ll make a great dad one day.”
For every guy who wants to be a father, these are touching words to hear, especially when they’re genuine.
I remember a family friend unexpectedly telling me that while driving me to the airport to take a flight overseas for a job. She was married with kids and in a happy marriage, so I took her thoughts seriously.
I was flattered that she saw so much potential in me in terms of my paternal potential.
Was she right? I don’t know yet, as I’m not yet a father.
But if we break down the traits of a good dad, there are certain definite traits and behaviors we can see that show a guy will one day become an outstanding father.
Let’s take a look.
1) He’s good around kids
First and foremost, how is this guy around kids?
Not every good dad immediately likes youngsters, and some grow into the role.
But generally speaking, a man who’s going to be a good father shows signs of it early on because he likes being around kids and interacting with them.
He can be their friend while also being somebody they respect as an authority and someone they should listen to.
2) He’s a responsible pet owner
How a man will fill the role of father can also be seen by how he treats pets.
Does he like having pets? More importantly, does he care for their needs and feed, water and take them out for bathroom breaks?
If he’s quite attentive to the needs of pets, he’s quite likely to be attentive to the needs of his kids down the road.
3) He’s not bored by being at home
When you’re a dad, that means you’re going to be at home a lot.
Even with a very busy job, a man who’s raising kids (especially young infants) will be doing a lot of domestic tasks, from changing diapers and taking out the trash to cleaning or helping with meals.
Regardless of how tasks are divided with his partner, a man who’s going to make a good dad isn’t bored by being at home.
In fact, he thrives there.
4) He comes from a solid family
These days, many of us do not have the luxury of coming from a family that’s still together.
But a man who comes from a two-parent family is certainly likely to be a good dad.
He has a model to work from.
Men from single-parent families don’t deserve any blame either, and may also make a great dad. It all depends if they’ve been able to heal the wounds of the past and become a stronger person despite the broken bonds of the past.
5) He wants to be a good dad
This may seem obvious, but men who don’t care about being a dad or value it are not usually prime candidates for being a good father.
Some grow into it or experience an unexpectedly strong bond after becoming a dad, as I mentioned.
However a man is generally going to make a better father when he wants to become a good father.
There are ways to grow into the role of fatherhood, but in most situations it’s necessary that a guy actually has a real desire in himself to become a dad, and a good one at that.
The intention and motivation has to be there.
6) He’s self-motivated
Parenting isn’t a spectator sport.
There are times when lounging around is an option but it’s also not a very good option and can lead to a lack of discipline and things running wild at home.
If a man isn’t very self-motivated, he needs to work on becoming moreso.
Lazy habits and excuses don’t make for good parenting.
If they’re already showing up in a young man, he’s not likely to be a very responsible father and may also unfairly delegate everything to his wife or partner, expecting them to pick up all the slack.
Not only is that unfair, it’s just not very pragmatic and rarely leads to a harmonious relationship or family situation.
7) He pays attention to the details
Fathers are put in charge of the well-being of kids, and a man needs to be able to pay attention to details.
If his son is allergic to something, he needs to read labels!
If his daughter has an intense fear of spiders he needs to already be prepared for how to calm her down if she sees one!
A man who’s going to be a good dad is somebody who pays attention to details.
He notices what’s around him and is empathetic about how it could affect others.
8) He’s affectionate and loving
The man who makes a good father also has a good heart.
At the same time as he’s empathetic and compassionate, a good dad does have to care about the rules and have certain lines for himself and for others that he won’t cross.
There’s no substitute for a father’s love, and kids need that growing up.
A coldhearted man rarely makes a good dad, because even if he sticks to the rules and keeps the home front in line, he doesn’t gain the true devotion and love of his kids.
At the same time as he does need to be loving and kind, a man who’s going to be a good dad simply can’t be a pushover or overly chill.
9) He can be disciplinary and rule-abiding
When necessary, is this man rule-abiding and self-disciplined?
Is he able to get other people to calm down and see reason?
These are all skills which come very much into play when it comes to being a dad.
Men who father and raise youngsters need to be able to stick to their own rules and enforce them on those they are in charge of.
While compassion is always a must, being an overly easy-going and “anything goes” type of guy can, frankly, spell disaster for a guy’s potential for effective fatherhood.
Both of these previous points tie into the next point..
10) He’s considerate and fun but also respectworthy
Fathers need to be balanced:
They need the respect and obedience of their kids, but they also should be somebody the youngsters see as admirable and fun to spend time with.
There are two extremes that go too far:
An overly disciplinarian father who isn’t emotionally linked to his kids in any way beyond telling them what to do and an overly “buddy” father who isn’t truly looked up to by his progeny.
The ideal balance is this:
A father who’s respected and looked up to by his kids but who’s also fun to be around and can talk to them in a relatable and friendly way.
11) He’s responsible and handles money well
How does a man handle his responsibilities and his finances?
These two questions go a long way to answering how he’ll do as a father.
Being a dad requires a great deal of responsibility and putting others as a priority. It also requires handling money, scheduling and the demands of life in a sober and reasonable way.