What makes a good dad? Being an amazing father is much more than simply providing for the family. Take a look at the top 7 qualities of a father and husband and see which characteristics matter the most.
Amazing dads who wake up in the middle of the night to change diapers, just so we can have a few more minutes to keep sleeping. Fathers who come home from a long day at work still eager to play chase, even if it means postponing dinner for a bit.
I’m grateful my kids have an awesome dad, and I know I’m not alone. Many of us have no idea how we’d get through parenthood without the partners we have in our lives. Even the most recent time my husband traveled for work made me realize how hard raising kids alone can be.
(And he was only gone for five days!)
Qualities of a father
The thing is, amid all the madness of having kids, it’s easy to overlook how fortunate we are to have these guys by our side. In fact, relationships are often the first to be neglected, or the source of frustration. We take emotions out on them, taking things for granted.
That’s why I wanted to list the many qualities of a father, so we can remember just how good we have it. No dad is perfect—just as no mom is—but I’m willing to bet that your guy has many if not all of these qualities:
1. Goes above and beyond for his family
Have you seen that commercial of the father dancing in front of his house, practicing cheerleader moves with his little girl? Or the illustration of a dad sleeping on the edge of the bed because his child had taken over 90% of it?
Dads already struggle with a heavy stigma, one that says they lose a bit of their manhood when they so much as nurture their kids.
Yet here are dads willing to dress up as Elsa so their daughters could be Anna, or those who stay up all night to learn how to soothe the baby so we can rest.
One of the best qualities of a father is going above and beyond for his family, not because he has to, but because he knows it helps them.
Good dads are considerate of their partners and kids.
Being a good dad doesn’t mean putting his needs last all the time and sacrificing his own joy and interests. Not only does he think of what he needs and wants (“I want to play golf with my friends”), but is aware of what would make you and the kids happy as well.
He’s the dad who encourages you to take up a past hobby and will schedule it in his own calendar so he can be with the kids. He imagines what it’s like to be in her shoes so he can better understand what she’s going through.
Considerate fathers take to heart what their families feel and do what they can to support them in a positive way.
3. Takes initiative
A happy home means both parents take initiative, whether running the household or caring for the kids. One of the best qualities of a father is the inclination to take initiative—to “just do it” because it needs to get done.
Because no one likes to nag a fellow parent to spend more time with the kids, or to do his part at home. These activities are second-nature to a good dad who decides to take them on himself, without hesitation or grudge.
4. Tries… and keeps trying
Good dads don’t give up, especially when it comes to developing a strong relationship with their kids. It’s too easy to try something—for instance, to soothe the baby or discipline the toddler—only to retreat when it didn’t work.
But fathers need to stick with it. To keep soothing the baby, even when handing him over to you would do the trick in a second. How else will dads learn what the baby likes if he gives up the first time? How else will the baby feel comfortable in dad’s arms when she’s hardly with him?
Good dads know that this is part of the role he signed up for. He doesn’t hand nearly all the responsibilities to you, but rather willingly takes on just as much as you do.
We sometimes complain that dads aren’t as involved with the kids as we are. At the same time, it’s also just as important for us not to treat dads as the “assistant,” someone we delegate tasks to while we run the show.
Because dads aren’t babysitters—they’re co-parents who should be just as involved.
Involved dads know just as much about their kids as we do. They know which toy the baby likes best on a stroller ride and what projects the kids are doing at school. They take days off to attend games and science fairs and take turns bringing the kids to the doctor.
We all want to feel acknowledged and appreciated, especially in the thick of the challenges of parenthood.
Amazing dads are more than grateful for all we do and for the role we play in our partnerships and family life. Small gestures like a hug and a “thank you,” to bigger ones like meaningful gifts or a much-needed break, are some of the ways fathers show gratitude for their partners.
Gratitude also extends beyond and into knowing how truly blessed and abundant their lives are. They’re grateful for the people in their lives and are quick to see the positive in every situation.
Ask any mom what sets her husband apart from the pack, and many will point to the love he has for his family.
Of the qualities of a father, love by far trumps them all. Amazing dads love us with everything they have, and it spills out in all they say and do for us.
They enjoy playing with the kids and will find creative ways to have fun. But they’ll also sit through the tantrums, remaining patient as ever, knowing that that’s what their kids need from them at this moment.
Good dads don’t just pay lip service and “know” they love their family—they show it in meaningful ways, every day.
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As you can see, there are many qualities of a father we can be grateful for. It’s all too easy to overlook just how fortunate we are to have these guys by our sides, especially when life feels hectic and we’re consumed with the day-to-day tasks.
But good dads are all around us. They’re the ones who go above and beyond for their families and are considerate of how other people feel or what they might need. They take initiative, and don’t give up even if something doesn’t work out on the first try.
Good dads are involved in family life and regularly show their gratitude. And most important, they love us with everything they have—even in the smallest of gestures like changing a diaper in the middle of the night.
Get more tips:
- 5 Useful Tips for New Dads in the Newborn Stage
- Why We Need to Ask Dads about Work Life Balance
- 17 Children’s Books about Dads
- Dad Bashing: Why We Need to Stop Making Fun of Dads
- 6 Ways Dads Can Support Breastfeeding Moms
Tell me in the comments: what do you think are the top qualities of a father?
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