Though the two may seem like they’re one and the same, there are actually distinctions between them.
At least that’s what the people at the Good Men Project think.
The Good Men project is a site that offers resources and a support network for men where they can share insights, advice, and inspiring stories.
According to them, although a father and a dad both work hard to provide for their families while making time for them despite their busy schedules, there exists a deeper distinction that is essential to the growth and development of every kid.
Being called a father is easy because one automatically becomes one when their child is born. But the title of ‘Dad’ is something earned.
The following characteristics turn a father into a dad.
1. They think before they comment
Now this may sound easy enough but dads often forget to be “thoughtfully honest” instead of being “brutally honest”.
Before they answer their kids’ questions, they think about the motivation behind it. More often than not, kids seek validation when they ask questions. This matters more to them than actually getting an answer.
So the way you answer them is just as important as the content of your answers.
2. They are good role models
He does not only shower his own family with love and patience, but does this with everyone he meets.
A simple example would be keeping his cool while driving. He treats other people with respect and does not engage in verbal or physical abuse even when he is angry.
This may seem easy but when emotions are running high, it will prove to be a great challenge.
But, dads do not let their mood dictate their manners.
More admirable traits on the next page…
3. They interact and play on the child’s level
Dads don’t only interact with their kids when it’s convenient or interesting for them.
They tough out tea parties with their daughters. They read the same boring book over and over again, all with unwavering enthusiasm.
This builds a sense of security and trust for their kids.
According to the Good Men Project, seemingly simple activities such as these help “to form a level of trust and comfort in his son or daughter that will solidify their loving view of him.”
4. They think before they act and are in control of their emotions
Another example is when a dad has separated from his kids’ mom, but he doesn’t talk badly about her in front of their kids.
This doesn’t mean they can never feel anger or disappointment, it simply means that dads put their kids’ physical and emotional well-being above their own.
5. They protect their children
When their child comes to them to say that they have been bullied or that someone has acted inappropriately towards them, dads don’t assume that it must have been something their kid did wrong.
A dad will hear their child out and reassure them that he is on their side and that he did the right thing by telling him.
6. They respect their children
It goes without saying that they should be never made to hug or kiss anyone they’re not comfortable with.
Even if the person who hugs them too long or kisses them on the cheek does not intend to make them feel uncomfortable, dads recognize the right of their child to say when they need their space.
READ: Why you shouldn’t force your child to hug people
Being a father is easy since it is a title which doesn’t require much emotional investment.
Being a dad, however, is a ‘difficult and lifelong responsibility’.
Are you a father or a dad?
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