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15 Things A Father Wants His Kids To Always Remember

15 Things A Father Wants His Kids To Always Remember

When a man discovers he’s going to be a father, a million thoughts run through his head at once. “Am I ready for this? What if I don’t raise him right? Can we even afford to have a kid?” As time goes on, these panicky thoughts give way to the deeper questions, such as “What do I want my child to know?” We want our children to grow up to have the best life they possibly can.

There are many things fathers hope their children know by the time they leave the nest. These include:

1. Knowing how to speak up

Children should know how to stand up for what they believe in. However, this doesn’t mean they should learn to be obnoxious and only focused on getting their way. Fathers should teach their children to be calm and collected in their approach to arguments, as well as relentless in their pursuit of justice. Not only should children be taught to stand up for themselves, but they should also know to stand up for those who cannot fight for themselves.

2. Working hard in all you do

So many kids (and adults, for that matter) don’t understand the value of hard work. In a time in which instant gratification is so widespread, it’s important for fathers to show their children that dedication and hard work takes a while to pay off. But they should also lead their children to understand the satisfaction that is felt when a job has been done, and done well.

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3. Being persistent

Whether a child is speaking up or working toward completing a task, fathers should communicate the importance of sticking with their pursuits. Giving up is giving in, and admitting defeat. Fathers should teach children to see things through to completion. Giving less than their full effort is wasting the talents that were given to them.

4. Contributing to a clean environment

Fathers should show their children how important it is to keep their room clean, and focus on how it will improve their overall mood in the long run. Children should know how important it is for them to help out around the house, so their parents aren’t cleaning up after them day after day. And they should definitely understand the importance of keeping their community clean by not littering, picking up trash, and recycling.

5. Taking care of their body and health

Fathers should model the importance of keeping a healthy body through nutritious eating, exercise, and lifestyle choices. Fathers who overeat, laze around, and smoke and drink are more likely to raise children who follows in their footsteps. Even children who are seemingly healthy should learn how important it is to be active on a daily basis. If they grow up practicing unhealthy habits, it will be much harder to get healthy when they’re older.

6. Treating everyone with respect

Fathers should teach their children that every single person on Earth is important in some way, and deserves to be respected as a human being. This goes for the people serving you at restaurants, the people who collect your garbage, and the homeless people sitting outside the convenience store begging for change. Fathers should model compassion for everyone they meet, and their children will follow suit.

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7. Staying informed

At a time in which information is at our fingertips 24/7, ignorance is absolutely inexcusable. Fathers should communicate that staying current is incredibly important in order to continue being compassionate. Being informed about controversial issues will lead to children being able to understand the importance of assisting groups of people who have been shunned or otherwise slighted by society.

8. Being responsible

Perhaps one of the most important jobs a father has is to teach his child to take responsibility. When a child makes a mistake, he should feel comfortable admitting the truth, rather than hiding from it and digging himself deeper and deeper into despair. It’s always hard to admit when you’ve done wrong, but a father should instill in his children the idea that owning up to mistakes is the sign of a truly strong and mature person.

9. Putting family first

Your family should be the most important group of people in the world to you. They’re the ones who were around when you were born, and will be the only people who will love you unconditionally throughout your life. A great father will model this by always being there when his children need him, and dedicating himself to his family’s safety, security, and happiness. He should also teach his children the importance of spending time with grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters, and brothers, and appreciating every experience you have with them.

10. Embracing their flaws

Nobody is perfect. Unfortunately, children are often incredibly insecure about their shortcomings, and fixate on imperfections. For example, young children often think they’re “not good at math” or “not a good reader.” This is a self-fulfilling prophecy, as it holds them back from truly trying to succeed. Fathers should teach their children that trying their best and persevering through adversity is is much more important than succeeding at everything they set out to do.

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11. Being comfortable with who they are

Fathers need to help children be comfortable in their own skin. As they grow into teenagers, children will often make a big deal about their appearance, finding little physical imperfections to obsess over. Fathers need to help their children get past this stage by showing them how to appreciate themselves as a person not defined by their physical appearance. When children are comfortable with who they are, they can be confident in themselves and their ability to succeed.

12. Not being afraid of failure

Many times, children are so afraid of failing that they don’t even get started on the path to success. Fathers need to be there to support their children when they’re feeling insecure or inadequate. They need to instill in them the idea that failure is not the end of a journey, but just a bump in the road. When children see failure not as a roadblock, but as a stepping stone, they’ll make the most out of every experience in their life, whether it be positive or negative.

13. Stepping out of their comfort zone

Fathers need to push their children to constantly expand their comfort zone. Staying where they’re comfortable is easy, but it’s also a surefire path to stagnation. Fathers should always be up for trying something new so their children see how much life has to offer. They’ll never see it if they spend their weekends holed up in their room or on their phones.

14. Not wasting their talents

All people have one or two things they’re just naturally good at. It’s important that fathers teach their children not to take these talents for granted. Talented children can sometimes become conceited and start to mistakenly believe they’ll be able to get by on their natural talents alone. That’s not the case. Fathers should push their children to push themselves further.

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15. Not letting life pass them by

Fathers should teach their children to never take life for granted, and to take advantage of every waking moment they’re given. Every moment lived is a chance to excel and experience something new. If fathers teach anything to their children, it should be to never waste the gift of life.

Featured photo credit: Flickrr via farm1.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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