I once visited UC Berkeley in the 90s with my friend Sumit. We met up with Sumit’s friend, Bunty, who lived just off campus in a shared house with 3 other guys. Now Bunty was a nice and down-to-earth kind of guy. Even while finishing up his Phd and working on some cool eye technology at the time. What was surprising was the other three guys in the house. They were completely reclusive. Not very friendly, communicative, etc. When I asked Bunty how he could live with these guys who were so closed off/anti-social, he said that it was even worse when he first met them. Bunty said that he had to train them to change. So I was like WTF. In my younger days this was crazy thinking. That you can change somebody. But what he meant was that you can encourage people to change. Of course the change still comes from within but positive reinforcement towards the desired behavior is the key. This article below describes an animal trainer’s approach to this type of encouragement to change behaviors:
The rules are simple. Reward the behaviour you want. Ignore the behaviour you don’t want
globeandmail.com: Lessons from the zoo – applied in the bedroom
There’s no shortage of lists on the net and rather than talking about all the different posts I’ll list the links and the concise version of the “advice”. Most of which is common advice but still good to remember:
How to be a Great Dad – 12 Awesome Tips | Zen Habits
Put their interests first, always.
Spend your spare time with them. –The thing kids want most from their dads is their time.
Give them hugs.
Play with them. See 100 Ways to Have Fun with Your Kids for Free or Cheap.
Do the “mom” stuff. changing diapers, feeding, bathing, rocking them to sleep in the middle of the night.
Read to them. This is one of the most important things you can do for your child. See the Best All-Time Children’s Books.
Stand by mom. Don’t contradict their mother in front of them, don’t fight with her in front of them, and most definitely don’t ever abuse her.
Teach them self-esteem. Maybe this should be No. 1.Praise and encourage, don’t reprimand and discourage.
Teach them about finances.
Be good to yourself. You need to take care of yourself, give yourself some alone time, and some time with your buddies, also eat healthy, exercise.
Be good to the mom. Take her to dinner, give her a massage, do chores around the house for her, give her some time alone and babysit while she goes out, show affection to her, give her little surprises. Because when mom’s happy, the kids are happy. And dad will be happy too!
How to Raise Wonderful Kids – 15 Fantastic Tips to Shine as a Parent
Do the following:
Let your family be one of your top priorities.
Listen to them.
Be the life coach of your kids.
Expose them to art and wonder.
Teach them the value of people.
Teach them how to save.
Teach them how to handle disappointments.
Avoid the following:
Don’t teach them your limitations.
Don’t force them.
Don’t fight or argue in front of them.
Don’t act cheap.
Don’t lose patience.
Scott H. has a great post that has me excited to try this when my daughter is born in 4 more months. Essentially, it’s sign language for babies.
Baby Sign Language
This is a great post about answers from kids when asked what Love means:
What does love mean?