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For Fathers: Tips for Improving Your Relationship with Your Kids

Being a good father is hard work, but you don’t have to go at it alone. There are several resources to help your children thrive in school, get along with others, and stay away from drugs and other dangerous behaviors.

A great resource is the President’s Fatherhood Pledge. By pledging, you commit to become a positive influence in the lives of your children and others who don’t have a father. You will also get updates, tips and resources about responsible fatherhood.

You can also follow these simple tips:

Spend time with them. It’s never too late to spend time with your children — and you don’t have to take time off work. You can organize activities around your days off, on the weekends, or in the mornings or evenings. Try exercising and staying active or stay home and play board games and talk about anything they want to talk about. The more time you spend with them, the stronger your relationship will be.

Tell them how much you care. Don’t be embarrassed by expressing your love to your children. Let them know you care, regardless of their age or what might have happened in the past. A hug, kiss or even a few kind words can mean a lot to children, especially when they are young. Learn more about how to talk to young children (PDF).

Create a relationship based on trust and communication. Talk openly with your children about age-appropriate subjects, including sex. Become their confidant and let them know that they can trust you to talk about anything. Read more about what other fathers are doing by visiting the DadTalk blog on Fatherhood.gov.

Protect them but give them their space. With the Internet and advances in technology, today’s world is probably very different from the one you grew up in. Give your children their space but also teach them about the risks of socializing online. OnGuardOnline.gov has many resources to help you protect your kids online. Also, make sure your children know that they can come to you if they have any questions about what they find online.

Set Limits. Teach your children to follow rules from a young age and respect others. This will help them get along with their peers. Participating in organized sports (PDF) is a great way for them to learn teamwork, discipline, and confidence while having fun. Speak firmly to them when you need to, and let them know when they have violated the rules of your home.

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