Be Lovey; Treat Kids Fairly
5. Be affectionate with your baby, especially as they get older. Kids need love, but they don't understand the word "love" on any level. You might as well use the term "phalanges" with them because, to an infant, it means the same thing -- nothing. So holding your baby and telling her, "Daddy loves you," is pretty much meaningless.
But you know what kids do understand -- a loving touch. Hugging them, snuggling them, and kissing them makes them feel loved. It's a basic way humans communicate love, but some fathers feel awkward showing love in this way. Get over it. A kid needs to feel loved, always, and you have within your power a guaranteed way to make them know they're loved. A kid that knows they're loved is a happy kid -- the kind of kid that runs and jumps into your arms when they see you.
You will never, never regret being affectionate with your child, because you will be able to send a "you're loved" message right to your kid's heart anytime with just a simple peck on the forehead, a quick hug before school, or even just tousling their hair as they walk by. A dad's loving touch is amazingly powerful; it sends a message to your child that words can't always convey. By the way, high-fiving doesn't count. It's a celebration -- not a sign of affection.
6. Treat your kid the way you wanted to be treated when you were a kid. Take a look back on how you were raised. Look back at how your dad showed, or didn't show, his love for you. How he disciplined you, encouraged you, criticized you, and molded you. If you had a great dad, now's your chance to take everything he showed you and put it to good use.
If you didn't have a great dad, this is your chance, your golden opportunity to make up for every fatherly injustice he did to you by being to your child a much better and more sensitive, involved, loving dad than he was to you. This is your chance to show your dad, and the world, "This is what being a good dad looks like." Provide your child with a level of love, patience, understanding, and affection that shows your own dad how it's done.