The New Year is a reset button and an opportunity to grow as a parent and a person. Pledging to our Fatherhood Four Commitments is one step toward becoming a more present and engaged father. Using these testaments as a North Star, fathers can become better co-parents and create deeper connections with their children. Read on for five tips to becoming the best version of yourself in 2021.
- Limit Screen Time
Start the new year off by prioritizing time with your family and getting off your devices. Remember to be present with your children and spend meaningful quality time with them. A great way to remain off your phone is to go outside and enjoy nature, whether you hike a local trail or just a walk around the block. While indoors this winter, try activities with your children that do not require devices. Spend the day making a favorite family recipe or playing board games. By dedicating a weekend or a few days to focus on the familial relationships in your life, you will be fulfilling one of the four fatherhood commitments.
- Connect with Your Community
Seek out a community of fathers or friends that you confide in and who can relate to what it’s like to be a parent. The Dads’ Resource Center has resources for networking and building connections. Through these networks and social media, you can leverage and build relationships with other fathers who are going through the same joys, milestones and challenges as you.
- Volunteer Your Time
To become the best version of yourself, consider giving back to your community through acts of service. There are multiple ways to get involved virtually or in person as an individual and as a family. Research your local nonprofits to see what they need from volunteers right now. Through family community service, you can model for your children valuable lessons and life skills, like respect, collaboration, and generosity. Volunteering presents an opportunity to be a positive role model in your children’s life outside of your home.
- Polish Your Skills
One of our four fatherhood commitments is for fathers to ensure the basic needs of their children, such as food and a safe space to sleep. Look around your house. If you notice that something may need fixing, work on that home project as soon as possible. Some home renovations may be fun to include the kids. Keeping your home safe, clean and welcoming is vital to your children’s well-being.
- Move Beyond Your Comfort Zone
In the continuous pursuit of self-growth, challenge yourself this year. Do something that makes you uncomfortable and pushes you to become better. Try a new hobby, a new form of exercise, or a new parenting approach with you children. This does not mean changing everything in your life. Instead, focus on things that may make you uncomfortable at first but will allow you to evaluate what you do well and what you can work on. By committing to self-improvement, you can commit to becoming a better father.
Establishing healthy relationships with children takes work, self-awareness and self-improvement. Use 2021 as a year to enhance your presence in your children’s lives so that they too can grow into best versions of themselves.