Characteristic #3: Healthy Communication As you can imagine, communicating with your children is extremely important. But what if this doesn’t come easy for you? You may have had a father who was emotionally distant, who yelled, shut down, or hardly spoke. The role of a father that was modeled to you growing up may not be so healthy. So how do you ensure that as a father you are communicating to your children in healthy ways?
Healthy fathers make sure that they don’t just communicate while disciplining. Communication grows from engagement and spending time with your children. Make sure you use kind words when talking to your children. Tell your children how you feel about them. Work on modeling to them healthy expression of feelings and emotions. Tell your children often that you love them, and that you like spending time with them. Teach them about your family values and the expectations for their behaviors.
Men often struggle with communicating verbally. Healthy fathers can let their children know how important they are by not only telling them, but by physical touch, paying attention, and watching them. It’s amazing the message a hug, pat on the back, or high five can send!
The most important thing a healthy father can do is be consistent with communication. Children need to know what to expect from you every day. Communicate in a loving way that feels natural and comfortable to you, but make sure you are reliable, trustworthy and a dependable for your children!
Remember that your children are watching and listening all the time. They watch how you treat other people around you, especially their mother. They are expert repeaters and will learn how to communicate based on what you do. Model and teach the kind of communication you want from your children.
Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful fathers out there, including my own! :)
Written by: Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW
Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Christy enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Christy also provides family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.
Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.