Any man can be a father, but a good father is a strong and influential figure over his children. While male characteristics drive a man to head a household, the ability to handle authority and responsibility defines a good father. Important traits of a good father encompass being a leader, a loving figure who meets the needs of his children and an authority who guides them accordingly. An ideal father should be a beacon of support for his children, nurturing his children to achieve physical and emotional well-being.
A good father should be an ideal worker who balances devotion between his work and family responsibility, according to Lindsey Trimble of Stanford’s Clayman Institute for Gender Research. Devotion will play a determining role when he selects his jobs, as he will strike a balance between his career and family. Men often equate a good father to a good provider. However, while a man ought to provide financially for his family, physical presence is equally important. For example, whenever possible, a good dad seeks flexible schedules in order to attend to his family.
In an article that discusses the meaning of fatherhood, Frank Tanfer and Frank Mott describe an ideal father as one who welds authority as the head of the family. A father is an authority in a home and needs this authority to guide his children in a loving manner. His role should not be adversarial, but of authority over his children. He should be a partner who is sensitive and loving to his wife to model a healthy relationship to his children. He should not assume adversarial relationships but rather model leadership with his authority.
Children develop most of their skills by observing their parents. An ideal father should be a role model in order to influence the lives of his children, both within and outside the home. Role modeling serves as a template to guide the behavior of his children. It involves the way he treats their mother, members of the extended family and other people. Role modeling also involves the way he spends his money, time and controls his emotions. He models attitudes and behaviors that he would like to see in his children. He acknowledges his mistakes, disciplines the children and spends time with them.
Nurturing is an important trait in a good father. Nurturing helps him foster his children's education and healthy development. Nurturing activities of fathers and mothers may overlap though they are not identical. While a mother may play a large part in nurturing children in a family, a father’s input is crucial as it involves offering them useful guidance into areas not covered by the mother. For example, in some families, while mothers train children on hygiene and politeness, fathers engage in activities that both stimulate and excite children to promote assertiveness.